Alison and Peter Appleby (front), in front of their Waitati
home, which was recently insulated by (from left) Andrew
Laiman, of Smart Energy Solutions, Scott Willis, from the
Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust, Clayton Weir, of
Smart Energy Solutions, and (on roof, from left) Paul
Cardno and Ryan Botting, friends of the Applebys, and Paul
Clements, from Habitat for Humanity. Photo by Gerard
Waitati couple who lived for 25 years without roof
insulation in their seaside home are sleeping more warmly after
a group aiming to make Dunedin homes more cosy came to their
Peter and Alison Appleby were unable to access any subsidies
for insulation because they have a skillion roof, which must
be removed to fit insulation.
They could not afford to do the work themselves, and with
only a night store and column heaters for heating in their
home, their electricity bills were creeping up to $65 a week,
which was unsustainable, Mr Appleby, a sickness beneficiary,
He hoped to see that bill reduce immediately after friends,
family, and an initiative called Dunedin Cosy Homes conducted
a ''Cosy Homes flash mob'' on their home last weekend. By
10am, the roofing iron was off, by 11am the insulation was
laid, and by evening the roof was back in place.
Scott Willis, of the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust,
which was part of the Cosy Homes initiative, said the latter
was formed late last year.
The group was concerned that cold homes were a drain on
Dunedin's economy and health and social services, and aimed
to achieve a vision of every home in Dunedin being made warm
and cosy by 2025.
Dealing with the practical challenges of getting to people in
need was one of the challenges the group had identified, and
the Applebys had come to their attention, Mr Willis said.
The initiative involved community groups, non-government
social services, local and central government authorities and
commercial services and suppliers all talking to each other,
which meant, among other benefits, that it was more possible
to target those in need.
For the Applebys, the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust
had worked with Habitat for Humanity, which had lent a hand
and a loan to get into and replace the skillion roof, and
insulation provider Smart Energy Solutions, which installed
the insulation for free once the roof was removed and rot
Although Dunedin Cosy Homes had no formal governance
structure in place yet, the fact the groups were talking had
meant ''guerrilla actions'' like the insulation of the
Appleby home were already possible.
One household out of fuel poverty - the need to spend more
than 10% of annual household income on fuel use - was a good
start, Mr Willis said, but the Cosy Homes vision would
transform the whole city.
Mr and Mrs Appleby said they were very thankful and grateful.
''We couldn't even have afforded the building paper, let
alone the nails and screws. We wouldn't be getting this any
other way. It's going to be fantastic,'' Mr Appleby said.