The Government has helped insulate 12 per cent of New Zealand
houses in just over three years under its Warm Up New Zealand
scheme - but Auckland is lagging behind with 9.9 per cent of
About 185,665 properties have been insulated under the
initiative and the Government has spent $252 million of its
$347 million budget, according to figures released under the
Official Information Act by the Energy Efficiency and
The scheme subsidises up to 33 per cent or a maximum of $1300
for the cost of underfloor and ceiling insulation in
under-insulated houses built before 2000. Community Services
Card holders are eligible for a subsidy of up to 60 per cent
under the scheme.
The programme was launched in July 2009 and was extended by
the Government in May to include an additional 41,500 homes
on top of the initial 188,500 target at no extra cost. The
$347 million funding is expected to run out in September next
EECA team manager of residential projects Jenny Lackey said
Auckland's low uptake was because it was a large metropolitan
area with a large number of houses, while Marlborough and the
West Coast also had fewer insulations because of their large
geographical areas and small populations making it harder to
reach. These areas had not attracted as much third party
funding as other regions such as Gisborne where more than a
quarter of homes had been insulated.
Eastland Community Trust general manager Leighton Evans,
whose organisation had provided more than $4 million in
funding to low-income households in Gisborne, said the main
advantages had been to people's health as there had not been
a noticeable reduction in the power bills.
Mr Evans said the cost savings could not be seen because
residents were now heating their entire houses rather than
just the main living room. Research into the benefits of the
programme found that for every $1 spent on insulating homes
there were $5 of benefits and 99 per cent of the total
benefits from the scheme were health related.
Marlborough District Council - one of the regions with the
lowest uptake - struggled to pinpoint why it lagged behind
the rest of the country.
Mangere Budgeting and Family Support Services chief executive
Darryl Evans said a lot of his clients' landlords refused to
take advantage of the scheme which he found baffling.
"Uninsulated homes is a major problem for our families as the
houses out here are more often than not, cold, damp and
"Many of our families report the kids are often sick with
respiratory illness, which includes coughs, colds and
pneumonia. As a result many turn on all the heaters to try
and combat cold and as a result they end up with large
unmanageable power-bills. Others don't turn the heaters on
and so get sick quite often."
Mr Evans said some families had even put bubble wrap on the
But Property Investors Federation president Andrew King
disagreed and said a recent survey found 5300 rental
properties were well insulated. Mr King said most of the
properties had been insulated before the scheme was
introduced and felt since 2009 providers were charging well
above the store price.
- Nikki Preston, NZ Herald