First home performance advisers

Dunedin residents wanting warmer, drier homes can now get independent advice from the city's first certified home performance advisers.

The two Dunedin advisers are among the first in New Zealand to complete training and be certified under the national Community Energy Network.

They have been contracted by the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust to give personalised house appraisals and make recommendations about how residents and homeowners can save money and live warmly.

Trust manager Scott Willis said the advisers had already done a few appraisals around the city.

They considered a home's location and how much sun it received; ceiling, floor and wall insulation; drainage; windows; curtains; hot-water cylinders; and draughts.

Advisers asked about occupants' energy use, whether they dried clothing indoors, when they pulled curtains, what heating they used and if there were leaking taps.

They took into account what occupants wanted and could afford, and made a personalised plan with the latest information available.

Mr Willis said there were often many things people could do, which cost nothing, to make their homes warmer and drier and save them money.

The appraisals cost $260, but Mr Willis said most people could save that amount in a year or two just by making small changes which cost nothing.

Those able to afford more significant improvements, such as double-glazed windows, would save more on their energy bills, he said.

''The advisers will cater to the needs of each person, so if you can't afford to have all your windows glazed, they will tell you which ones will make the most difference.''

Mr Willis said the trust hoped to secure more resources and funding to offer subsidised appraisals for those in ''extreme fuel poverty'', who needed them most.

The trust was part of the Cosy Homes steering group, which aimed to ensure every Dunedin home was ''warm and cosy'' by 2025, he said.

The trust was also the only Otago member of the Community Energy Network.

 

-rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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