Deadline on insulation deals

The Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA) has funded a new two-year programme for insulation discounts for landlords with low-income tenants, but the clock is ticking.​

“It’s a matter of first in, first served,” said Community Energy Action (CEA) chief executive Caroline Shone. “We currently have an insulation subsidy for landlords with low income tenants of up to 50%, and there is also a seasonal discount for other rental properties. But we don’t know how long it will last.”

The central-government funded insulation programme is now only available to landlords, in a bid to assist with offsetting the cost of upgrading insulation to Ministry of Business, Industry and Employment standards prior to 1 July 2019, in order to comply with new legislation effected by the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passed 31 May this year.

“It is advisable to utilise the current scheme before it finishes, as funding is now very limited,’” said Shone.

The government first initiated insulation subsidies in 2009 after a successful pilot.

In Canterbury, CEA, Energy Smart and Smart Energy Solutions each have subsidies available under the EECA programme.

Landlords are recommended to research the type of insulation and instalment on offer, to ensure that they are getting a quality, long-lasting product as well as a good deal. Inferior insulation products, poorly installed, may meet MBIE requirements in the short-term but lack longevity.

Christchurch’s tepid rental market means that tenants have the upper hand in choosing their accommodation, and that warmer, dryer houses are rented first.

“We have always encouraged landlords to insulate their properties,” said Shone. “It isn’t just better for the tenants’ health, it also creates healthier investments.”