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Heat pumps to replace burners and open fires

May 25, 2006


Heat pumps to replace burners and open fires and reduce Timaru air pollution
Environment Canterbury will provide funding for an initiative by Line Trust South Canterbury to run a heat pump project in Timaru this winter. The company has been running a Healthy Homes project, which has insulated over 300 homes so far in South Canterbury.

Line Trust South Canterbury, in conjunction with a company called Energy Mad, which ran a very successful ecobulb project in South Canterbury, is now about to launch an ecoheater project. They will be offering subsidised, high quality and energy efficient heat pumps to participants, to replace their inefficient electric heaters.

Line Trust South Canterbury has now offered to extend the programme to also provide heat pumps to 500 homes with open fires or woodburners if ECan provides the balance of funding for these.

Environment Canterbury has agreed to initially provide $100,000 towards this initiative. This amount will be sourced from funding received from central government and will go towards heat pumps in 250 Timaru homes ($400 per home).

If the Ministry for the Environment agrees to provide $50,000 funding, an additional 125 homes will be added to the programme. A further $50,000 for 125 more homes could be available if the regional council confirms some level of targeted rate for Timaru for the 2006/7 financial year, after its draft Long Term Council Community Plan submission hearings that start next week.

Timaru regional councillor Mark Oldfield says this is too good an opportunity to miss. “We see it as a win-win situation: It’s a local Timaru initiative, cheaper than the Clean Heat Project and it would provide the opportunity to trial an alternative approach,” he says. He congratulated Line Trust South Canterbury, saying it shows how local people can bring about change by finding local solutions.

Timaru has a significant pollution problem during winter months, which will have to improve to meet central government’s National Environmental Standard for air quality by 2013.


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