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Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes

The Government has invested in a new three-year insulation programme delivering warmer, drier and healthier homes to communities in most need.

Budget 2013 allocated $100 million of operating funding over three years to the Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes programme, targeting low-income households for home insulation, particularly households occupied by children and/or the elderly.

Warmer, drier homes provide real benefits to New Zealanders. As well as energy efficiency gains, insulating homes reduces health risks caused by cold, damp housing such as respiratory illnesses and serious diseases like rheumatic fever.

An independent evaluation of the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme (run from 2009-2013) by Motu showed the greatest benefits from insulation are for people on low-incomes, who are at higher risk of health issues.

The Government's investment will be augmented by significant levels of funding from trusts and other third parties. This will see insulation available to those households in most need, at low or no cost.

The new programme follows the success of Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart, which has seen around 235,000 homes insulated since 2009.

Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes is being administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

Questions and answers about the programme

What is Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes?

Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes is a new three-year government insulation programme delivering about 46,000 warmer, drier and healthier homes. The programme will be targeted at households (including renters) that have a Community Services Card and are at high health risk.

Read the media release on the Beehive website.

How does the new programme work?

EECA works with project partners to target households known to be at high risk from illnesses linked to cold, damp housing. The programme provides grants for up to 60% of the cost of insulation. Project partners, such as trusts, primary health organisations, and iwi, will top up the government grants to provide free insulation to eligible households.

How much does it cost for people to get insulation installed under Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes?

It is free for eligible households as a result of the Government grants and the generous support of third-party funders. There may be a charge for landlords of eligible tenants.

Why is the scheme targeted at specific groups?

An independent evaluation of the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme (run from 2009-2013) by Motu showed the greatest benefits from insulation are for people on low-incomes and facing a higher risk of health issues. The report says the avoided health costs to the Government from insulating a house average $854 a year for Community Services Card (CSC) holders compared to only $336 a year for non-CSC holders.

How many homes will be insulated over three years?

About 46,000 homes will be insulated under the programme.

How much is the Government investing in the new scheme?

The Government is investing $100 million over three years and more than $50 million funding will need to come from project partners, such as trusts, iwi, and other community organisations.

How do people apply for the new insulation grants?

Details of service providers offering Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes are posted on the ENERGYWISE website. People can also call 0800 749 782 for more information.