New Zealanders see more warm dry homes thanks to insulation funding boost

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-29 18:00:18|Editor: Yurou
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WELLINGTON, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Community organizations have contributed 4.7 million NZ dollars (3.2 million U.S. dollars) to the New Zealand government's new insulation program Warmer Kiwi Homes, further reducing insulation costs to homeowners.

The contribution means in some parts of the country, low income homeowners will be able to insulate their homes for free, Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods said in a statement on Tuesday.

The government has allocated funding of 142.5 million NZ dollars over four years for grants, covering two-thirds of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation.

So far, over 3,200 homes have already been insulated under this program, which means thousands of families now able to enjoy warmer, healthier homes while saving on their heating bills, Woods said, adding the 4.7-million-NZ dollar additional funding came from councils, charitable trusts, district health boards and trusts.

Grants are targeted towards those who need them most, such as homeowners with a Community Services Card, as well as people living in areas defined as having higher well-being needs, the minister said.

"Too many New Zealand homes are cold and damp, leading to preventable diseases such as rheumatic fever and asthma," she said, adding the program allows more people to afford to heat their homes.

The Green Party's Energy Spokesperson Gareth Hughes said the policy will help more families keep warm this winter while saving them money.

"Making homes healthier and cheaper to heat whilst also reducing energy demand is the kind of win-win solution that is needed to tackle climate change whilst supporting people to thrive," Hughes said.

Grants for heating appliances will be available to low-income households from July 2019, according to Woods.