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PAM GRAHAM

pam.graham@age.co.nz

A new home insulation programme hinges on Bob Francis being able to get Carterton and South Wairarapa councils, Trust House and the Wairarapa DHB to put skin in the game.

Previously, these authorities all helped fund an insulation scheme but it fell away under the previous government which had put the focus on home insulation for rented properties.

A new scheme, to be running by October, gets funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority [EECA] but Masterton District Council [MDC] is the only party currently providing money in the community funding part of the equation.

And it has decided it only wants its money to go to Masterton homes, if the other councils don’t come on board.

It passed a resolution to that effect at last week’s community wellbeing committee meeting.

The Wairarapa Healthy Homes [WHH] scheme has $30,000 carried forward from MDC, which has agreed to put in another $30,000, but councillors quizzed Francis, the programme’s chairman, on his ability to get funding from others.

Francis said he was in talks with the other councils.

Councillor Chris Peterson paid “credit to Bob for leading the charge”.

“I think the wind had gone out of the sails under the previous government who looked at landlords. It is really good to see we are back in it,” he said.

Since 2004, nearly 2600 Wairarapa homes have been retrofitted with insulation, improving the health of those living in them.

Peterson said there were “an awful lot to go”.

The new scheme is available for homes built before 2008 owned by people in “quintile five” areas — the most deprived 20 per cent, which is a wider group than previously thought.

A company called EnergySmart is delivering the programme.

It is proposed that homes in Wairarapa will be fully insulated at no cost to the homeowner as 67 per cent of the cost will be covered by EECA; WHH contributing $700 per home; and EnergySmart covering the balance, expected to be about $300.

A council report said if $100,000 could be raised from the community funders, in the past the councils, DHB and Trust House, a total of 143 homes could be insulated in Wairarapa between October and June 30 next year.