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'Warm Up NZ' Scheme Trying To Do Too Much, Too Quickly

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Charles Chauvel
Charles Chauvel

The Labour Party says the Government urgently needs to fix the 'Warm Up NZ' Scheme, before New Zealanders lose confidence in it.

In a report commissioned by EECA and released today under the Official Information Act, Otago University researchers say the standard insulation upgrade is warming some homes in the deep south by less than half a degree, and that the scheme's "one size fits all" approach is inadequate.

This follows news last month of an initial audit by EECA into the scheme revealing that 63 per cent of insulation retrofits audited have "problems", half of which are described in the audit report as "serious".

Labour's Energy Spokesperson, Charles Chauvel, and its Associate Energy Spokesperson, Chris Hipkins, say the Energy Minister needs to take these emerging quality issues seriously, and take action to stop a loss of public confidence in the scheme.

"I put it to Gerry Brownlee in Question Time in Parliament last month that on the basis of the audit, up to 19,000 New Zealand homes might have quality problems with their insulation retrofit. His response was that if people had concerns they should call their installer, or EECA," Charles Chauvel said.

"That isn't good enough. The problem here is the speed with which National has tried to put this scheme in place.

"It scrapped Labour's $1bn home insulation fund, which was commitment to heat and insulate homes over more than a decade, funded out of the proceeds of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

"National replaced that programme with its hastily arranged 'Warm Up NZ' scheme, and has budgeted only $347m over 4 years. "National's created a perception that it's acting on home heating and insulation. But it's trying to do too much, too quickly.

"We want to see warm, dry kiwi homes. But there is increasing evidence that National's scheme is not the way to deliver them. Gerry Brownlee needs to ensure the scheme is working properly, and that there will be funding for it after 2013 when the current commitment runs out."

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