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Environment Canterbury keen to help people keep warm this wi

April 17, 2014
MEDIA RELEASE
Environment Canterbury keen to help people keep warm this winter

Environment Canterbury has welcomed the number of people who have responded to the letters sent out to homeowners reminding them that this winter they cannot use their wood burner if it is 15 or more years old.

As part of the on-going commitment to improve the community’s health by cleaning up winter air in Canterbury, approximately 5000 letters went sent out to owners of non-compliant burners in Christchurch, Rangiora and Kaiapoi. To date 500 people have called in response to the letter.

Commissioner David Bedford says “This winter we are taking a firm line about not using these wood burners because of the amount of pollution they add to our air. However, the letter let people know that they can continue to use their older wood burner if they have a mitigating circumstance such as being in an earthquake or flood damaged and are waiting for it to be repaired or rebuilt. All they need to do is to call and let us know.

“They can also let Environment Canterbury know if they are waiting for their wood burner to be installed or are having financial hardship.

“We do need to remember that 80% of Christchurch people have made the move to clean up our winter air by using a non-polluting appliance to heat their home,’’ says Mr Bedford.

“However we know everyone’s situation is different and it is not always easy to make a change. That is why we are responding to the calls and trying to help out where possible.’’

Environment Canterbury is working closely with such agencies as Community Energy Action and can refer people facing hardship for help from these groups.

Of the people who have called in, 216 were to report that they had already changed their burner, 227 to report earthquake or flooding damage, 32 waiting for installation of their new burner, 19 with financial hardship and six with health issues.

ENDS

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