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More Kiwis to benefit from warmer, drier homes

Hon David Parker
Minister of Energy
Jeanette Fitzsimons
Government Spokesperson on Energy Efficiency


17 October 2008 Media Statement

More Kiwis to benefit from warmer, drier homes

Middle-income Kiwi homeowners can now get more money from the government to help them invest in warmer, drier, more energy efficient homes, and more New Zealand householders are now eligible to receive this funding, Energy Minister David Parker and Government Spokesperson for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Jeanette Fitzsimons announced today.

Middle-income New Zealanders can now apply for a bigger grant towards insulation, clean heating and other energy efficiency measures for their house. The grant is one third of the cost of improvements, capped at $1125 (incl GST).

In addition, inadequately insulated houses built before 1 January 2000 (instead of 1978) are now eligible for funding under the ENERGYWISE™ programme.

“People are healthier when they live in warm, dry homes. For every dollar spent on insulating cold houses, there is close to a two dollar benefit in energy and health savings. And this means less time off work, less time off school and a better quality of life,” Jeanette Fitzsimons said.

The ENERGYWISE™ programme also offers funding for homeowners on a low income, and landlords with low-income tenants.

“The ENERGYWISE™ programme provides funding to homeowners depending on need. For example, if someone is on a low income, and has health problems, they could qualify to have their house insulated for no, or very little cost,” David Parker said.

David Parker said the ENERGYWISE™ home programme was part of the government’s ongoing commitment to improve the energy efficiency of New Zealand homes. "The increased grants are from existing funding. In addition, we have announced a $1 billion Household Fund to further fund warmer, drier homes over the next 15 years."

Further information about EECA’s ENERGYWISE™ programme can be found at www.energywise.govt.nz or call 0800 749 782.

Details of all ENERGYWISE™ funding programmes follow.

--

Background
Funding of $23 m over four years is allocated to the ENERGYWISE™ interest subsidies and grants scheme. This is separate to the $1 billion Household Fund.

Funding for middle-income homeowners
Middle-income homes can get funding for improvements to insulation, clean, low-emission heating and other energy efficiency measures.
• The grant for middle income household was initially 10 percent of the cost of insulation, clean heat and other energy efficiency measures, up to a maximum of $560 (incl GST). It is now one third of the cost, up to a maximum of $1125 (incl GST) – for costs over $1000
• The interest subsidy where the government will pay the interest on a loan up to a maximum of $1400 (incl GST) remains the same.
• Homeowners can qualify if they are earning, before tax, up to $100,000 a year (one or two earners) or up to $140,000 a year (three or more earners)
• The property must have been built before 1 January 2000 (previously 1978)
• The improvement costs must total more than $1000.

Funding for low-income homeowners
Funds are available for improvements to insulation, clean heat, and other energy efficiency measures for low-income households, where the following applies:
• The house was built prior to 1 January 2000 (previously 1978)
• The main resident is eligible for a community services card (although some exceptions apply)
• The property has insufficient ceiling and/or underfloor insulation
• People with health problems (such as asthma and other respiratory illnesses) can be given priority to the funding. This is because of the significant health benefits that insulation provides.
Housing New Zealand tenants are not eligible for an ENERGYWISE™ Home Grant, since other government programmes provide similar assistance.

Funding for landlords with low income tenants
Landlords can get an increased government subsidy of 60 percent for insulation, clean heat, and other energy efficiency measures for rental properties occupied by low-income tenants, where the following applies:
• The tenant named on the tenancy agreement is eligible for a Community Services Card (although some exceptions apply)
• The property was built before 1 January 2000
• The property has insufficient ceiling and/or underfloor insulation
• The property can also be vacant.


ENDS

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