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Initiative to insulate rental properties

Landlords and tenants encouraged to apply for initiative to insulate rental properties

Landlords across New Zealand are being encouraged to take advantage of a limited government offer which gives a discount of up to 55 per cent on the cost of installing insulation and energy efficiency measures for their rental properties.

The properties must have been built before 1978, when insulation became mandatory in the building regulations, and must be occupied by tenants who qualify for a community services card.

Recent research by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has shown that 88 per cent of renters are likely to stay longer in more energy efficient properties and 83 per cent are more likely to rent them in the first place if they were energy efficient.

Landlords who insulate will see the value of their properties enhanced and made more attractive to long term tenants, and will benefit from reduced maintenance and tenant turnover costs each year. Tenants will benefit from warmer, drier homes that are healthier to live in and cost less to run. The health and energy benefits have been shown to exceed the actual cost of retrofitting a house by a ratio of almost 2:1.

“We encourage landlords to come forward and take advantage of this limited offer. We also want to encourage tenants to say to their landlords, ‘this is something my home really needs’,”says Mike Underhill, Chief Executive of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

“We have over 300,000 rental properties in New Zealand at the moment, and over a quarter of these of are occupied by people on a low income. Thousands of people are living in homes with little or no insulation, and this has a huge affect on their on their health, as well as increasing their energy bills.”

“This scheme is something landlords should be jumping at. Who would want to miss out on a 55 per cent subsidy to increase the value of their property and save themselves unnecessary expenditure? It is smart business,” says Mr Underhill.

The scheme, which is part of the ENERGYWISETM funding programme, covers ceiling and underfloor insulation, hot water cylinder wraps, pipe lagging, low flow showerheads and draught proofing.

Landlords can call Eco Insulation (0800 400 326) or the Energy Efficiency Community Network (0800 151 565) to check eligibility and to arrange for the work to be done.

Other funding options available under this programme are grants for low-income home owners and interest subsidies for middle-income households for insulation and energy efficiency measures.

ENDS

For further information contact: Janice Rodenburg, Communications Advisor, EECA, (04) 4702545 or 021 705301 or visit www.eeca.govt.nz.

Is your rental property eligible?
There are several criteria the landlord, the rental property and the tenant need to meet before the landlord can apply for the subsidy:
- The property must have been built before 1978
- The property should have insufficient ceiling and/or underfloor insulation
- The tenant named on the tenancy agreement must be eligible for a community services card
- Rent must not be raised within six months of receiving the subsidy.

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