21 December 2016
Interest free loans for home heating & insulation
Residents in the Gore airshed will be able to apply for an interest free loan of up to $5000 in install clean heating options and insulate their home.
The Gore District Council delivered this early Christmas present at its last meeting before the holiday break. It was decided to administer, free of charge, Environment Southland’s $140,000 a year clean air loan scheme and add $50,000 for an interest free loan pilot scheme to provide insulation.
Chief Financial Officer Luke Blackbeard said insulating a home when upgrading its heating was important.
“One without the other doesn’t make sense.”
Funding the pilot scheme from cash reserves means it will not impact on rates, Mr Blackbeard said.
The two loan schemes would be jointly administered through the Council’s debtor’s system. Loans will be for up to five years.
“Anyone can apply for a loan, they will just need to pass a credit check and have a good rates payment history with the Council,” Mr Blackbeard said.
The decision comes just in time for residents. From 1 January 2017, open fires can no longer be used within the Gore airshed as part of the new home heating rules in the Regional Air Plan. The plan was adopted by Environment Southland as a move towards improving air quality and meeting the Government’s health-inspired National Environmental Standards for Air Quality.
Also from 1 January 2017, wood and multi-fuel burners installed prior to 1 January 1997 begin their phase-out. They can continue to be used in Gore until 1 January 2020 for burning wood only.
Mr Blackbeard said the Council will run a public information campaign early in the new year to ensure all residents know how to access the loan.