A scheme to assist Dunedin homeowners wishing to warm up
their homes has been extended, even though Government subsidies
are no longer available to most people.
Under the Warm Dunedin scheme, ratepayers can borrow up to
$5000 from the Dunedin City Council to insulate and/or
install heating in their homes.
They must pay it back via a targeted rate over 10 years,
paying only the interest it costs the council to borrow the
money for the scheme.
The council started the scheme to complement the subsidies
available to homeowners through the Energy Efficiency and
Conservation Authority's (EECA) Heat Smart programme to
install insulation. However, since September 1, EECA
subsidies have only been available to low-income households.
Councillors this week decided to continue the council scheme,
within the remaining budget.
It is available to any ratepayer.
The council borrowed $2.25 million for the scheme, which
started in February.
Since then $1,231,640 has been allocated for installations of
insulation and/or heating in 457 houses.
Based on the average cost of installations, the council
estimates the remaining $1,018,360 could allow installation
and/or heating to be installed in about 250 to 300 more
Twelve other councils offering similar targeted rate schemes
have also chosen to continue them.
Approved EECA providers will still be used for installation
under the Warm Dunedin pilot scheme.
It was better for the council to continue to run it, Cr Chris
Staynes said, to gauge properly how the community was
''It is our responsibility to provide means that will
encourage the owners of cold houses to try to do something
Staff will report back to the council in April, as part of
the annual plan deliberations, with recommendations for the
long-term future of the scheme.