Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart

Last updated: 14 September 2020
This programme ended in September 2013. Until then, Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart was the Government principal energy efficiency programme in the residential sector for four years. The programme provided consumers with information on home insulation, grants for the installation of energy efficiency measures (through subsidies for ceiling and underfloor insulation installed through approved service providers), and clean heating devices - in homes built prior to 2000. The scheme paid - without income restriction - one-third of the cost of installing ceiling and under-floor insulation up to a maximum of NZ$1,300. People on lower incomes were eligible for up to 60 per cent of the total cost of insulation and NZ$1,200 towards a clean heating appliance, provided the home was first insulated. Landlords whose tenants were low-income earners could also receive the 60 per cent subsidy. The programme operated on a co-funding basis with four sets of partners: local government, iwi, existing and new service providers, and energy retailers. Generally this third-party funding was applied to low-income households to cover the remaining 40 per cent of the costs of insulation not provided by the programme. In Budget 2009 the Government allocated the programme NZ$323 million over 4 years. The initial aim was to retrofit over 180,000 homes. In November 2009 the Government announced that the programme would be enhanced by an additional NZ$24 million of funding targeted at low-income families, allowing an additional 8000 households to benefit. In Budget 2012, the programme was extended further, to deliver a total of at least 230,000 insulation retrofits. The programme delivered 241,000 insulation retrofits. Evaluation reports confirm and quantify the success of the programme. Net benefits to New Zealand are calculated to be worth NZ$1.3 billion over the expected lifetime of measures delivered under the programme, with a benefit:cost ratio of more than 4:1. The majority (99 per cent) of the measured net benefit is from improved health resulting from warmer, drier conditions after insulation is installed.

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