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Free energy advice for Canterbury homeowners

Sent:   Friday, 13 March 2009 10:03 a.m.
Subject:        Home Energy Advice Centre opens in Canterbury

13 March 2009
Media Statement

Ministry welcomes free energy advice for Canterbury homeowners

The Ministry for the Environment welcomes the opening of an energy advice centre for Canterbury households, thanks in part to two grants from the Sustainable Management Fund (SMF).

The Canterbury Home Energy Advice Centre, which opened today, provides free, independent professional advice to help households reduce their energy consumption.

Projects and Partnerships Manager at the Ministry, Cameron Sherley, said “Raising people’s awareness of the various energy options available to them is very important, and an excellent fit for the SMF’s goals.

“Greater access to advice helps consumers make more cost-effective decisions about how they choose to heat their homes and improve energy usage. It’s especially important in an area such as Canterbury, where air quality is a well-known issue.”

The Christchurch centre joins sister centres in Wellington and Auckland, which are also managed by the Energy Efficiency Community Network (EECN).

In the 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 financial years, the Network was granted SMF funding to help establish community based national energy advice resources, including an 0800 advice line, standard energy auditing tools and information packs.

In addition to generic information regarding insulation, heating and renewable energy technologies, the three Centres offer individualised information focusing on special local knowledge such as local authority rules, local tariffs, prices from energy companies and specific projects operating in local areas.
Since opening in March last year, the Wellington centre has responded to nearly 1000 email and telephone requests for advice on a wide range of home energy issues. Centre advisers have also carried out 77 home visits, many of them to lower income households with high power bills.

“The success of the Wellington Energy Advice Centre has proved the need for free and frank energy advice. The Ministry is very pleased to be able to support such a valuable initiative,” Sherley said.

For more information see www.energyadvice.org.nz


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