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New subsidy to change to cleaner heating

New subsidy to change to cleaner heating available this winter

Extra funding will be available this winter to help Timaru residents who want to change to a cleaner form of home heating.

Environment Canterbury will give a $1000 subsidy to people who replace an old wood burner or open fire with a clean air approved wood burner, or a $2000 subsidy if they replace it with a heat pump or pellet fire.

Commissioner David Bedford says “The subsidy is timely as Timaru has already experienced its first high pollution day this winter. We have been working with the Timaru District Council to explore ways we can reduce smoky emissions in to the winter air, and helping people change to a cleaner from of heating is one way we can do this.

“Keeping everyone warm in their homes in winter is also a priority and we want to help the most vulnerable members of the community - the elderly, those on low incomes and people with health issues.

"We have decided to continue the offer of the subsidy this year after the success of last year’s programme where we used all the funding we had available with 115 subsidies. We want to continue to make sure as many people as possible make the change.’’

Timaru Mayor Damon Odey also welcomes the subsidies. “We know we have an air quality issue in winter, and we know this air pollution causes health problems. Therefore helping people to improve their home heating while reducing smoky emissions from chimneys is a win/win situation for us all.’’

Nigel Trainor, SCDHB Chief Executive Officer says “Timaru has an air quality issue that affects people’s health and wellbeing, particularly our most vulnerable people: young children, older people, and people who already suffer from poor health. South Canterbury District Health Board supports this new initiative to help people make the change to a cleaner form of home heating, to improve our air quality and ultimately our health.”

To be eligible for the subsidy, the owner or tenant must hold a current Community Services card and fill out an assessment form to show that they have an income-related need. The home must also be located in the Timaru gazetted air shed, the burner or fire must be used to heat the main living area and should be 15 or more years old.

Householders with uninsulated homes will be encouraged to insulate their homes as part of the heating upgrade to ensure that they have a home that is warm, healthy and economical to heat In most cases, householders who are eligible for the heating subsidy will also be eligible for up to a 100% subsidy of the cost of insulating their home.

In most cases, householders who are eligible for the heating subsidy will also be eligible for up to a 100% subsidy of the cost of insulating their home.

The home heating subsidy assistance will be reviewed in early 2015 after hearing the community’s views on a review of the Air Plan for Timaru. This consultation will take place in June 2014.

For more information about the subsidy, people should call Environment Canterbury Customer Services on 0800 324 636.


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