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Subsidised heat pumps Timaru log-burning houses

September 27, 2006

MEDIA STATEMENT

ECan offers subsidised heat pumps to 250 Timaru households with log burners

Environment Canterbury will provide $100,000 funding for 250 Timaru households with a solid fuel burner to install a heat pump. The ECan subsidy amounts to $400 per household and the subsidised price per heat pump will be $1850 through LIneTrust South Canterbury. ECan funding comes from income received from a central government Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority grant.

The scheme is part of a larger initiative offered by LineTrust South Canterbury, being launched today.

“Under the ECan-funded part of the scheme, householders will retain their solid fuel burners. We will be installing data loggers in 50 of the 250 homes to find out how often people use their burners when they also have the option of turning on the heat pump,” said ECan Timaru councillor Mark Oldfield.

“Environment Canterbury is pleased to be part of a local, Timaru initiative through LineTrust,” Cr Oldfield said. “This trial using the data loggers will provide us with valuable, practical information on how people heat their homes when they have a choice between the most efficient and economical form of electricity available, the heat pump, and solid fuel burning.”

The heat pumps being used by LineTrust in their ecoheater project are high quality, four kilowatt, which will function down to minus 10 Celcius. They would normally retail for much more than $1850. Compared to a normal plug-in radiant or fan electric heater, heat pumps provide up to three times as much heat for the same amount of electricity. This saves electricity-reliant households money on their monthly power bills and reduces the load on the system from those households.

Cr Oldfield congratulated LineTrust 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.


ENDS

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