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Three-quarters of million for clean home heating

Hon David Benson-Pope
Minister for the Environment
Member of Parliament for Dunedin South

13 April 2006 Media Statement

Three-quarters of a million for clean home heating

The Government is committing an extra $750,000 to two projects to improve clean and efficient home heating and reduce air pollution, Environment Minister David Benson-Pope announced today.

Environment Canterbury’s Clean Heat Project has installed ceiling and underfloor insulation, clean heating appliances and other energy efficiency measures in over 5,000 Christchurch homes since 2002. The Government will contribute $500,000 to cover the costs of a further 150 retrofits.

Nelson City Council’s Clean Heat/Warm Homes scheme has installed insulation, clean heating devices and other energy efficiency measures in nearly 300 properties since 2004. The Government will contribute $250,000 to cover the costs of 70 more retrofits.

“Heating your house with an open fire or an old wood burner is bad for your health and the environment. We support initiatives that help New Zealanders make better choices when it comes to home heating,” said Mr Benson-Pope. He was in Timaru today visiting two homes that had been retrofitted for energy efficiency.

“We support these projects because they ‘get on with it’ and deal with air pollution resulting from home heating. Both projects have a very practical approach and really make things better for New Zealanders,” said Mr Benson-Pope.

Home heating, especially from open fires and old wood burners, is the major source of air pollution in New Zealand. The Ministry for the Environment introduced National Environmental Standards last year that require local and regional councils to reduce the air pollution in their region.

The government has provided more than $1.1 million to fund a range of initiatives that assist local government meet new air quality targets:

- $800,000 for new air quality monitoring for 15 councils in the country

- $100,000 to survey home heating in New Zealand

- $70,000 for understanding the social drivers behind home heating choice

- $50,000 for evaluating different heating types

- $100,000 for two Warm Homes trials in Tokoroa and Timaru; and

- $160,000 for a new study examining the performance review of the wood burner standard.

"I know that cleaning up the air is a challenge but it is one that we are all up to. Kiwis are known for their ingenuity and this issue is one that will require ingenuity to fix," said Mr Benson-Pope.

ENDS

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