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2,500 families to feel the heat


1 August 2002

2,500 families to feel the heat

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is providing funding to insulate the homes of about 2,500 families around New Zealand in the next year.

Applications are now open for EECA's EnergyWise Home Grants Scheme - a $1.2 million fund that helps organisations make energy efficiency improvements to older homes in their community.

EECA Chief Executive, Heather Staley, said that cold, damp and draughty homes can affect the health of family members and increase the size of a household's power bill. An EnergyWise home is well insulated and has energy saving improvements.

"Around 600,000 New Zealand homes are poorly insulated or not insulated at all because they were built prior to the 1977 Building Code that requires minimum levels of insulation.

"The EnergyWise Home Grants Scheme builds on seven years of projects which have seen energy efficient improvements made to 52,000 homes - creating total annual energy savings of $32 million and cutting CO2 emissions by 350,000 tonnes.

"This scheme delivers real results to New Zealanders. As well as making homes more comfortable and healthy for family members, especially for those prone to asthma, the improvements also cut a household's power bill by between $270 and $620 a year, depending on where the family lives," Ms Staley said.

Last year's scheme funded projects in Northland, South Auckland, Hawkes Bay, East Coast, Rangitikei, Taihape, Horowhenua, Hutt-Mana, Christchurch, Timaru, Oamaru, Dunedin, Invercargill and Bluff.

The EnergyWise improvements usually include ceiling and under floor insulation and weather stripping around doors and windows. Other improvements can include hot water cylinder wraps, pipe lagging, low-flow showerheads and damp-proof groundsheets.

Any organisation wanting to run a project insulating 30 or more homes, that is unlikely to proceed without funding from EECA, is welcome to bid for a grant under a competitive tender. Application forms and guidebooks are available on EECA's website, www.eeca.govt.nz, applications close on 26 August 2002. ENDS

ENDS


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