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Tai Tokerau Families Benefit From Warmer Homes

MEDIA RELEASE

5 June 2008

Tai Tokerau Families Benefit From Warmer, Healthier Homes

4,000 Tai Tokerau families will benefit from warmer, drier, healthier homes over the next five years, thanks to a new project being launched in Kaitaia today.

Tai Tokerau Healthy Homes is the latest project in the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) home grants programme. The grants, which are part of EECA’s ENERGYWISETM funding, target cold, older houses that have little or no insulation and are occupied by low-income families.

Tai Tokerau Healthy Homes has been jointly funded by EECA, ASB Community Trust, Housing New Zealand Corporation, Contact Energy, Northland DHB, Northpower, Top Energy, and Northland’s Primary Health Organisations.

”Each house may receive ceiling and underfloor insulation, a hot water cylinder wrap, pipe lagging, and draught stopping,” said Chris Farrelly, Chair of the Tai Tokerau Healthy Homes governance group. “Together, these measures make a home cheaper and easier to heat which means it is warmer, drier and most importantly, healthier, for the people who live there.”

‘The links between housing and health are indisputable,’ said Building and Construction Minister Hon Shane Jones, who will attend the launch on behalf of the government. “Research from the Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences found insulation resulted in warmer, drier homes, and that means significant improvements in the health and quality of life for the occupants. The study found that adults and children in insulated homes have a 40 - 50% reduction in colds and respiratory problems.”

‘In addition to the significant health benefits, insulating our homes also means they are easier to heat, which often results in energy savings, said Katie Mathison, EECA’s Manager Residential.

‘The residential sector accounts for 13% of our national energy consumption. The success of this programme will help to reduce that overall energy use, which is also good news for individual householders because they are not paying for energy they are wasting.’

Insulation did not have to be installed in new houses in New Zealanduntil 1978, and approximately 900,000 New Zealandhomes were built before then. 100,000 of these pre-1978 houses are occupied by people on a low income. Thanks to the home grants programme, 42,000 homes around New Zealandhave received retrofits of insulation and other energy efficiency measures to date.

The work for the Tai Tokerau homes will be completed by He Iwi Kotahi Tatou Trust (He Iwi) and the Community Business and Environment Centre (CBEC).

Tai Tokerau residents who live in houses built before 1978 and are on a low-income can call 0800 732 763 to find out more or register for the programme.

The project will be launched at Community Business and Environment Centre in Kaitaia today at 12.30pm.

ENDS


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