More homes to be insulated

The Government has announced another 1000 Otago homes will be insulated under a revised version of its Healthy Homes programme.

Last week, a group of Dunedin trusts and community organisations launched a Cosy Homes initiative that aims to fix the remaining 18,800 uninsulated and cold Dunedin homes.

The unrelated Government announcement comes at the same time as the subsidies available to all home owners are replaced by a scheme only available to those on low incomes.

Dunedin-based National list MP Michael Woodhouse said 12,222 Otago homes had already been insulated under the Healthy Homes programme and the next 1000 involved a partnership between the Government and private companies Right House and Smart Energy Solutions.

''This new programme will deliver massive health benefits by making the homes of people at high health risk warmer and drier,'' Mr Woodhouse said.

Scott Willis, manager of the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT), which is co-ordinating the Cosy Homes initiative, said the Government's latest contribution was good ''in some ways''.

''In other ways we need to change the whole energy culture in ways that we haven't even addressed yet.''

He said insulation was not the end of the problem because Dunedin had a cold climate, challenging topography and a low quality of housing.

Other things like pelmets over curtains, draft stopping, in-wall insulation and double glazing were needed to bring houses up to standard.

Mr Willis said a new way of financing some of those things needed to be looked at, as well as educating people on the things they could do to improve their home.

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