It’s been a long wait, but eligible Waiheke homeowners can now access free insulation and a 90 percent subsidy on heat pumps. The government’s Warmer Kiwi Homes programme, which provides insulation and heater grants to low-income homeowners has been up and running since July 2018. But up until now, the funding required to support travel to Waiheke to carry out assessments and installations wasn’t available.

Warmer Kiwi Homes Manager Eddie Thompson says the programme is not usually available to homeowners living on offshore islands because of transportation costs and logistics. But finally, he says, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has managed to organise a contract. This means free insulation for eligible owner-occupiers, thanks to additional funding from Foundation North and the contracted service provider GreenSide Energy Solutions.

“The EECA is delighted to offer the grants on Waiheke Island because well-installed, quality insulation makes a huge difference to homeowners’ health and comfort,” says Eddie.

“This is especially important for older people and households with children.”

The free program is only for insulation, although grants are available to cover 90 percent of the cost of a heat pump after the insulation is installed. GreenSide operations manager Rob Leaupepe-Hansell says most eligible homeowners will pay just $300 plus GST for a heat pump, which must be installed in the main living area.• Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News…Out Now!!!

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