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Govt Extends Home Energy Efficiency Programme

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Government has announced improvements to its Energywise programme that helps people make their homes more energy efficient.

Energywise is not part of the $1 billion fund to retrofit insulation to homes over the next 15 years, which National has said it would scrap if it wins the election.

Energy Minister David Parker and Jeanette Fitzsimons, the Green Party co-leader who is the Government's spokeswoman on energy efficiency, said today home owners could now apply for a bigger Energywise grant.

It was 10 percent of the cost of the energy efficiency measures, capped at $560.

It has been increased to a third of the cost, capped at $1125.

And people can apply if their house was built before January 1, 2000. The previous threshold was 1978.

"For every dollar spent on insulating cold houses there is close to a two dollar benefit in energy and health savings," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"And this means less time off work, less time off school and a better quality of life."

The separate $1 billion fund for insulating old homes is a Green Party initiative, gained in exchange for its support for the emissions trading scheme legislation.

National says it is not committed to the policy because there is no funding for it and it is impractical.

"It is reckless in the middle of a global financial crisis for Labour and the Greens to be promising $1 billion without knowing where the money is coming from," climate change spokesman Nick Smith said.

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