Call to make use of insulation subsidies

Winter is coming — some may say it is already here.

And Dunedin homeowners would be wise to make use of government subsidies for insulation and heating, sooner rather than later.

That’s the message from Dunedin-based Cosy Homes Trust project manager Jeremy Baker, who says this will be the last winter eligible home owners will be able to access the Government’s Warmer Kiwi Homes Programme.

"I believe there should be a replacement scheme coming, and we are waiting to see what that looks like — the information will come out with the next Budget," Mr Baker said.

"In the meantime, I am encouraging people to sign up now."

Through the scheme, eligible home owners can access grants to cover 90% of ceiling and underfloor insulation, as well as 90% of the cost of an approved heater.

But that is not all; extra funding from the Otago Community Trust and Dunedin City Council means the Cosy Homes Trust can bring that up to 100%, meaning free heating and insulation.

Mr Baker said the Cosy Homes Trust had assisted more than 700 homes in Otago with grants for insulation or heating in the past year.

There are criteria for accessing the grants — the home must be owner-occupied, built before 2008, and the owner must have a Community Services Card, or the home must be in a designated "Warm Up Zone".

"Anyone can access the grants if their home is in a Warm Up Zone, and just a few months ago the Government expanded the zones by bringing in the data from the 2018 Census," Mr Baker said.

"So my advice to people, who have checked before and found they weren’t included, would be to have another look."

People who are not eligible for the government grants, and who have an existing mortgage, have the option of approaching their bank for support, Mr Baker said.

"All of the major banks now offer some form of interest-free loan for home performance upgrades, including insulation and heating," he said.

To check if your address is included in a Warm Up Zone, search online for Warmer Kiwi Homes Tool.

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