Increases to the Clean Heat Clean Air subsidy help make environmentally-friendly heating more accessible in Otago towns

Media Release - 21 May 2019

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) has made changes to the subsidy offered to qualifying homes in Arrowtown, Clyde, Cromwell, Alexandra and Milton - but with a funding pool capped at $120,000 and allocated on a first in, first-served basis, eligible households are urged to make the switch before the coldest months hit.

Recent changes to the subsidy mean eligible households can now access an additional $500 towards installing an ultra-low emission heating appliance when swapping out old, inefficient wood burners. The changes also mean there is a wider range of approved clean heating appliances under the programme.

Otago Regional Council Acting General Manager of Policy, Science and Strategy Andrew Newman said he was pleased with the changes, and encouraged households to make the switch before the funding is exhausted.

“The air quality in some Otago towns during winter is among the worst in New Zealand, and our research tells us 95% of these emissions come from the way we’re heating our homes. Updating burners can be expensive, and the improvements to this subsidy help remove some of the barriers for households wanting to switch out inefficient burners.

“Since the Clean Heat Clean Air subsidy launched in 2008, more than 1,250 homes have already switched their appliances, which is a big step towards us all breathing easier in the winter months,” Mr Newman said.

The Clean Heat Clean Air subsidy is available for houses built before 2008 in towns identified as having some of the worst air pollution in our region, and which have a burner that does not meet the Regional Plan’s air standards.

General income households can access $2,500 towards their heating upgrade through the subsidy.

For lower income households there may be little to no cost to improve their heating source. From July 2019, lower income households will benefit from the Warmer Kiwi Homes subsidy, which pays the first 67% of their heating appliance, and the Clean Heat Clean Air subsidy will top this up with a maximum contribution of $2,000.

Clean heating appliances include heat pumps, flued-gas heaters, pellet fires and ultra-low emission burners; the subsidy no longer includes standard low-emission wood burners.

To find out the status of existing appliances and how to access this and other subsidies, and to see a full list of ultra-low emission burner models and approved contractors, visit the ORC website:

Arrowtown residents are also encouraged to visit the Arrowtown Warmer Homes Show, this Thursday 23 May, at the Athenaeum Hall between 11am and 7pm. A range of installers and experts will be on hand to explain how to get the most out of your heating and insulation to have a warmer, cosier home in Arrowtown this winter.

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