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Landlords and low-income tenants to benefit

29 October

Landlords and low-income tenants to benefit from 55 per cent insulation subsidy

Landlords and their low-income tenants are the winners in a government scheme to meet up to 55 per cent of the cost on insulation upgrades. Landlords will benefit from having the value of their properties enhanced and made more attractive to long term tenants. Tenants will benefit from warmer, drier homes that are healthier to live in and cost less to run.

The scheme covers ceiling and underfloor insulation, hot water cylinder wraps, pipe lagging, low flow showerheads and draught proofing in pre-1978 homes occupied by low-income tenants.

"New Zealand properties are not up to standard when it comes to being warm, healthy homes to live in. This is an opportunity for landlords to save money for their tenants and to enhance the value of their property" says Mike Underhill, Chief Executive of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

"This scheme is a no-brainer for landlords. Who would want to pass on a 55 per cent subsidy to increase the value of their property? It's just good business."

Recent research conducted by AC Nielsen shows 88 per cent of renters are likely to stay longer in more energy efficient properties and 83 per cent are more likely to rent them in the first place if they were energy efficient.

"It is unacceptable to keep costs on the property down but let power bills go up, with people still getting sick. After all, we are not seeking gold plated upgrades - just a decent standard of living where people can keep warm" said Jeanette Fitzsimons, Government Spokesperson on Energy Efficiency and Conservation.

Last year EECA introduced a similar rental offer to landlords in which landlords had to be a member of the New Zealand Property Investors' Federation. This time round though the offer is open to all applicants, providing tenants are eligible for a community services card and the property was built before 1978.

The private rental sector in New Zealand now makes up more than a third of New Zealand's housing stock by tenure and approximately a quarter of New Zealand renters are those in the low-income bracket - people who simply cannot afford an insulation retrofit with out assistance.

To date over 35,000 homes have been retrofitted since the installation of energy efficient measures began through EECA programmes in 1995.

Landlords can call Eco Insulation (0800 400 ECO) and the Energy Efficiency Community Network (0800 151 565) to check eligibility and to arrange for the work to be done.

ENDS

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