Thursday, June 13, 2024

50,000 more Kiwis warm to insulation grants

Homeowners are being encouraged to check their eligibility for the Government’s Warmer Kiwi Homes programme after changes to its eligibility criteria.

Minister of Energy and Resources, Megan Woods said extending the eligibility criteria will help more homeowners and their families to enjoy comfortable homes, without feeling they need to economise on heating.

“The changes mean up to 58,000 more lower-income homeowners will now meet the criteria so I encourage homeowners who think they, or those close to them, might benefit from this programme to check the Warmer Kiwi Homes website. People who have applied previously, may now be eligible,” she said.

Run by EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) since it began in 2018, last year the programme reached a significant milestone of more than 100,000 retrofits.

Grants were previously set at 80% of the cost of insulation, and up to 80% for heating, capped at $3,000 for those living in an area with a ‘Deprivation Index’ of 8, 9, or 10. Further top ups from community organisations in some centres have made the cost of insulation even lower or no-cost.

The change means insulation grants have been extended to include level 7. Further, those in levels 9 or 10 – and Community Services Card holders – will now be eligible for a grant that is 90% of the cost of an insulation retrofit.

“Increasing the grant to 90% for insulation will extend the number of potential homeowners, who may be the hardest to reach,” said Dr Woods.

“It will also allow funding from community organisations who support the programme to spread twice as far, reducing the cost to zero for many people.”

She said the new criteria supports the Government’s target of over 26,000 heating and insulation retrofits being delivered each year.

“Last year’s independent evaluation of the heat pump aspect of the programme found homes are warmer, particularly in the colder mornings and evenings; homes are drier, with 89 per cent of homeowners reporting a reduction in condensation on windows; and homes use 16 per cent less electricity through the winter months,” said Minister Woods.

“This is truly an impactful programme. We have a network of community organisations and service providers who are incredibly committed to the programme and are more than ready to roll out these grants to people across the country.”

Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw said the move will lead to warmer homes, lower bills, and less pollution.

“Energy-efficient homes are a core part of the Government’s plan to tackle the climate emergency while improving people’s lives and wellbeing. No one should go to bed cold because they cannot afford to keep their home warm. This will reduce energy bills and cut emissions. The more people we can help the better,” he said.

The eligibility changes follow the expansion of Warmer Kiwi Homes as part of Budget 2023. The programme has been extended to June 2027 and will cover components like hot water heating upgrades and LEDs. It will receive $402.6m allocated over four years.

For more information on Warmer Kiwi Homes: Warmer Kiwi Homes programme | EECA.

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