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Additional Government funding for Heatsmart Programme

5 March 2012

Additional Government funding for Heatsmart Programme

Great news for Hawke’s Bay homeowners wanting to upgrade their fire places to meet national air quality standards – extra Government funding is being released to assist the transition.

People living in the urban areas of Havelock North, Hastings, Flaxmere or Napier (Airzone 1) on a property less than two hectares in size can no longer use an open fire, and non-compliant log burners are being phased out during the next two years. This is part of the air quality rule changes brought in by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council three years ago with the aim of meeting national air quality standards set by the Government.

The HeatSmart programme provides financial assistance to homeowners to replace open fires and older wood burners and has been inundated with people wanting access to grants and loans.

Programme Coordinator Mark Heaney says it is a major boost to the programme to secure additional funding through to June.

“By working together and contributing additional local funding HBRC has been able to negotiate extra national funding for Hawke’s Bay, which means we can target more homes. The more we show we can do, the more we can apply for, and the quicker we can reduce air pollution and convert damp, uninsulated homes into healthy homes,” says Mr Heaney.

He says the additional funding isn’t available to everyone or to all suppliers, so it is important that people seeking financial assistance check to ensure they’re getting the full allocation they’re entitled to.

“This additional funding will only be available to homeowners with a Community Services Card and limited to the first 120 applications through selected suppliers; people need to act fast so they don’t miss out.”

As well as the additional Government funding, to further assist homeowners wanting to upgrade their fires, HBRC has increased its loan facility to $3,800 at 3.51% interest for those with a household income under $100,000 per annum. This will match the funding available to CSC card holders and is a loan that can be added to a property’s rates invoice at a fixed rate for up to ten years.

“We want to make it easy for people to be able to afford a warm, dry home and the funding to support that has never been better.”

ENDS

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