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Healthy Homes initiative welcomed

Healthy Homes initiative welcomed

Energy Minister Trevor Mallard congratulated Contact Energy and the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation for the new Healthy Homes initiative launched today.

"Wellington School of Medicine research released last year shows there is a strong link between improved energy efficiency in homes and reduced rates of respiratory illness," Trevor Mallard said at the launch of the project at Parliament.

"This new initiative, which dovetails with the work our government is doing in energy efficiency, is aimed at combating the high incidence of respiratory illness by improving home environments through energy efficiency.

"Nearly 30 per cent of New Zealanders live in homes where the average winter temperatures fall below the healthy 16 degree minimum. This contributes to increased visits to GPs, more time off school, and more time off work. As a government we are also working hard to tackle this issue through a multi-agency approach.

"The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development are working together to support a national programme insulating pre 1977 homes, which were built before insulation became mandatory.

"To date over 12,000 families have had their homes insulated under this scheme. The majority of these insulations were free to low-income households.

"Housing New Zealand Corporation also has underway a significant programme to improve the insulation levels of older state houses. In the last four years more than 10,000 houses have been improved.

“As well as making a substantial difference to the health of the occupants, insulating improves the energy efficiency of homes, and can save people money through lower heating bills.

“That's why it's so encouraging to see one of the country’s largest energy companies team up with the country’s leading respiratory illness advocacy body to make a real difference in this area," Trevor Mallard said.

For information about Healthy Homes, go to http://www.positive-energy.co.nz

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