Virginia Driver with curtains donated to the Dunedin
Curtain Bank, which will clean and thermally line each
curtain before giving them to those in need. Photo by
Virginia Driver is on a mission - to secure a sizeable
deposit of used curtains for Dunedin's Curtain Bank, to help
provide low-income earners with a practical solution to warming
the city's cold homes.
''I know what Dunedin houses are like. I live in a cold house
that needs thermal curtains,'' the Dunedin Curtain Bank
trustee said yesterday.
The idea behind the non-profit organisation was as open and
shut as the curtains it required.
Donated curtains would be washed, thermally lined - if not
already - and then distributed to those in need.
Research from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation
Authority showed thermally lined curtains, when drawn, could
reduce heat loss through windows by 60% for single glazed
Mrs Driver, an interior architect, said curtain banks had
been established successfully in Christchurch and Wellington,
and Dunedin was the logical next city.
Curtains would be for low-income people and distributed by
the city's social services agencies, which could hopefully
start before winter, she said.
People would receive a form on how to measure curtains, which
would be mainly for living rooms, but may include bedrooms
depending on their need.
For those physically unable to measure curtains, the services
of Blokes Shed participants would be enlisted, she said.
The Curtain Bank had received curtains from Knox College and
from Super Grans, and a large Dunedin property management
company had indicated it could donate former student flat
Another aim was for the Curtain Bank to become involved in
future energy efficiency efforts, and be able to source
Government grants, she said.
Donations could be made to The Hub, in Oxford St, South
Dunedin, between 9am and noon, on weekdays.
• Thermal-backed and lined curtains can significantly reduce
heat loss through windows.
• Having curtains open during the day in winter and closing
them at nightfall will help keep rooms warmer.
• For best insulation, curtains should be of thick,
thermal-backed material, preferably double-layered with thick
lining, fit tightly against wall or window frame, be wider
than the window frame, be floor to ceiling, or have pelmets
• Curtains only work when they are drawn and are not a
substitute for double glazing.
SOURCE: ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CONSERVATION AUTHORITY