18 Jul 2019

Efficient heater grants added to government insulation subsidy scheme

2:08 pm on 18 July 2019

Eligible home owners will be able to claim grants for energy-efficient heaters this winter as part of the government's Warmer Kiwi Homes programme.

A room heated with a convection heater

Photo: 123RF

Energy Minister Megan Woods, who was in Christchurch today for the announcement, said the subsidies for efficient wood burners and heat pumps would build on the home insulation programme which started in July last year.

"We know that you can have the best insulated home in the world but what you also need to have is something that you can afford to turn on and make sure that that house stays warm. So I'm absolutely thrilled that we've been able to complete the first of these."

The first year of the programme - which focused initially on subsidised insulation - had signups from 10,000 home owners, and by the end of this month 8500 will have had the work completed.

"Insulated and heated homes are healthier, and we know there are huge benefits for households with fewer respiratory illnesses and hospital visits," Dr Woods said.

Megan Woods

Energy Minister Megan Woods Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

"This is one part of the package of the government's winter support. We're also helping people keep their heaters on through the Winter Energy Payment, and we're investigating consumer electricity prices which we'll report on soon."

To be eligible for insulation and heater grants, home owners must have a Community Services Card or live in a lower-income area. In most cases, homes will need to have ceiling and underfloor insulation installed before qualifying for a grant for a heater.

Dr Woods said demand for the grants was likely to be strong, and urged home owners to get in quick.