A year on from the start of a trial to allow home
owners to add the cost of insulation and heating appliances to
their rates bill and the Dunedin City Council has underwritten
more than $2 million in loans. Dan Hutchinson looks at the
popularity of the Warm Dunedin scheme. About $2 million has
been loaned to hundreds of Dunedin home owners to insulate and
heat their houses under the scheme.
Kathy Scott enjoys the warmth of her new home after getting
the cost of installing insulation and a heat pump added to
her rates bill. Photo by Dan Hutchinson.
The trial of the Warm Dunedin scheme finishes at the end of
this month with more than 500 houses upgraded through the
Warm Dunedin Co-ordinator Nathan Keen said the council would
review the scheme when it finishes and it could become a
permanent option for people.
Others think the scheme could be expanded to include solar
energy and other energy-saving technology.
Warm Dunedin allows people to add the cost of installing
insulation and certain heating appliances to their rates bill
and pay it off over 10 years as a targeted rate.
Roslyn woman Kathy Scott's family accessed the full $5000 in
loans allowed under the scheme to insulate under the floor
and the ceiling and install a heat pump.
She said she did not even notice the extra amount coming off
The heat pump had proved much cheaper than she first thought
it would be and it had made a big difference to the family of
''It is quite a big house, high ceilings and we were sort of
in the habit of heating the room we were in but now we are
pretty much cosy everywhere.''
Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust manager Scott Willis
said the targeted rate was ''an excellent mechanism'' and it
could be used to fund other energy saving technology as well.
''The first off the rank would have to be solar
photo-voltaic. There is huge demand, the price is right,
there is a ready community wanting to do it and it makes
sense to tie [the cost] to the house.''
He had spent $6500 installing photo-voltaic panels on his own
house last year and said it would not take long to pay back.
''I paid my electricity bill yesterday, it was $41, so that
makes a change from $150.''
Mr Keen said people should try and get a quote from
insulation and heating installers by the middle of this month
to make sure their application could be processed before the
initiative ended on April 30.
He said the uptake of the scheme slowed over the summer and
he was expecting a ''late rush'' of applications this month
as people prepared for winter.
Low income home owners can also access Government subsidies
to help towards the cost of insulation through the Energy
Efficiency Conservation Authority Warm Up New Zealand:
Healthy Homes programme.