Insulation push starts

Jeff Donaldson
Jeff Donaldson
A new organisation called the Cosy Homes Governance Group is racing to insulate 1500 homes in the next 10 weeks.

Chairman Jeff Donaldson said the group comprised representatives from many public and social agencies, including the Southern District Health Board, Dunedin City and Otago Regional councils, Work and Income New Zealand, Presbyterian Support and others.

''It is about improving the quality of homes so that we can reduce the number of people going to the hospital in the middle of winter ... there is lots of reasons for it but it is really about improving the quality of life.''

On Monday the group elected a chairman, delegated jobs to other members and was offered funds by the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA) to fund the total cost of insulation for up to 1500 homes.

The catch is that the money must be used by the end of June - the end of the financial year.

Mr Donaldson said the group wanted to prove to EECA it could handle such projects, in order to get further funding. It wanted to get as many houses insulated as possible in the short timeframe, although he was not sure there was the ''capacity'' to do all 1500.

The group also wanted to get eligible people on its list - those with a community services card or relevant health problems - for any future opportunities that arose, such as free or subsidised heating, double-glazing and thermal curtains.

He said there were still many open fires in Dunedin homes that could be replaced by heat pumps.

A lot of health problems were caused by cold, damp homes in Dunedin.

Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust and Cosy Homes member Niki Bould said the group was now busy connecting with social agencies to try to get as many eligible homes insulated as possible.

- by Dan Hutchinson 

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