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Blitz on home heat leaks in Christchurch

Blitz on home heat leaks in Christchurch

With the prospect of another cold Canterbury winter looming, a pilot programme has been launched aiming to help Christchurch residents ensure they face winter with a warm home.

>From this week, Christchurch residents will be able to have an independent expert check their home to see whether it leaks heat - leaving them with a high power bill and a cold house.

The Warm Home Energy Check, run by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) with assistance from Environment Canterbury, will cost householders up to $100 but EECA Chief Executive Heather Staley says the payback could be huge.

"We know that in some homes, up to two thirds of the heat goes straight out the window, or through the ceiling or the floor, without warming the occupants at all. For the average Christchurch home, that could be $700 worth of heating costs.

"Heat leaks can lead to occupants using more energy and paying more than they need to. They are also a factor in why the temperature of many New Zealand homes are below the World Health Organisation's recommended level for healthy living.

"Getting a warm home energy check is a bit like taking your car into the garage for a check-up. Homeowners will find out how well their house is operating, and whether there are any areas that need attention, such as insulation. They will get good advice about how to make their home warmer.

"If this pilot is successful we may see the day when every home has a 'label' on its power box so potential buyers can instantly see how warm a house is, and therefore have some idea of the heating costs," Ms Staley said.

The radio and print campaign will run until mid April. Christchurch homeowners have until June 30 to have their homes assessed under the pilot programme. An assessment can be booked by phoning 0508 WARM HOME (0508 927 646).

Ms Staley said EECA is working to change the way New Zealanders think about and use energy by promoting and supporting the uptake of energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives.

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