Over 50,000 more Kiwis to be eligible for insulation grants

Energy and Resources

Homeowners are being encouraged to check their eligibility for the Government’s Warmer Kiwi Homes programme after changes to its eligibility criteria, announced by the Minister of Energy and Resources Dr Megan Woods today.

“Extending the eligibility criteria will help more homeowners and their families to enjoy comfortable homes, without feeling they need to economise on heating,” said Megan Woods.

“The changes mean up to 58,000 more lower-income homeowners will now meet the criteria so I encourage homeowners who think they, or those close to them, might benefit from this programme to check the Warmer Kiwi Homes website. People who have applied previously, may now be eligible,” Megan Wood said.

Run by EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority), it has delivered warmer, drier, healthier, and more energy-efficient homes for tens of thousands of New Zealanders since it began in 2018. Last year, the programme reached a significant milestone of having achieved over 100,000 retrofits in that time.

Grants were previously set at 80% of the cost of insulation, and up to 80% for heating, capped at $3,000 for those living in an area with a ‘Deprivation Index’ of 8, 9, or 10. Further top ups from community organisations in some centres have made the cost of insulation even lower or no-cost.

The change means insulation grants have been extended to include level 7. Further, those in levels 9 or 10 – and Community Services Card holders – will now be eligible for a grant that is 90% of the cost of an insulation retrofit.

“Increasing the grant to 90% for insulation will extend the number of potential homeowners, who may be the hardest to reach,” said Megan Woods.

“It will also allow funding from community organisations who support the programme to spread twice as far, reducing the cost to zero for many people.”

The new criteria will support the Government’s target of over 26,000 heating and insulation retrofits being delivered each year.

“Last year’s independent evaluation of the heat pump aspect of the programme found homes are warmer, particularly in the colder mornings and evenings; homes are drier, with 89 per cent of homeowners reporting a reduction in condensation on windows; and homes use 16 per cent less electricity through the winter months,” said Megan Woods.

“This is truly an impactful programme. We have a network of community organisations and service providers who are incredibly committed to the programme and are more than ready to roll out these grants to people across the country.”

Minister of Climate Change James Shaw said this will lead to warmer homes, lower bills, and less pollution.

“Energy-efficient homes are a core part of the Government’s plan to tackle the climate emergency while improving people’s lives and wellbeing. No one should go to bed cold because they cannot afford to keep their home warm. This will reduce energy bills and cut emissions. The more people we can help the better,” James Shaw said.

The eligibility changes follow the expansion of Warmer Kiwi Homes as part of Budget 2023. The programme has been extended to June 2027 and will cover components like hot water heating upgrades and LEDs. It will receive $402.6m allocated over four years.

For more information on Warmer Kiwi Homes: Warmer Kiwi Homes programme | EECA

Notes for editors:

  • Eligibility for insulation grants has been extended to people living in areas with a Deprivation Index of 7, in addition to those in 8, 9, and 10 who are still eligible.
  • Those in areas with a Deprivation Index of 9 or 10, and Community Services Card holders, will be eligible for 90% of the cost of insulation.
  • To be eligible for Warmer Kiwi Homes people must:
    • own and live in a home built before 2008.
    • have a Community Services Card or live in an area identified as lower income as defined by the Deprivation Index .
    • (For heating) have ceiling and underfloor insulation installed to EECA standards.
  • The Warmer Kiwi Homes programme has been granted $318m over four years, to fund:
    • 26,500 insulation and heating retrofits per year in eligible households,
    • an expansion of the current Warmer Kiwi Homes programme to include simple low-cost energy efficiency measures,
    • community-focused outreach to better target high-need and hard-to-reach households,
    • targeted basic home repairs to bring homes up to the necessary standard to allow for subsequent Warmer Kiwi Homes retrofits.
  • In addition the following have also been funded in budget 2023
    • $64.6m to include hot water heat pump installations
    • $20m for broad-based support of around 5 million LEDs over four years.
    • Total of $402.6m over four years
Warmer Kiwi Homes installations to date
Region Insulation Claims Heat Claims Total
Auckland 15,449 11,358 26,807
Bay Of Plenty 8,259 4,614 12,873
Canterbury 8,618 3,062 11,680
Gisborne 1,424 670 2,094
Hawke's Bay 3,153 1,383 4,536
Manawatu - Wanganui 8,430 3,284 11,714
Marlborough 863 185 1,048
Nelson 1,186 222 1,408
Northland 5,622 3,502 9,124
Otago 4,135 1,318 5,453
Southland 3,208 1,554 4,762
Taranaki 2,600 841 3,441
Tasman 1,067 133 1,200
Waikato 10,994 5,224 16,218
Wellington 5,253 3,013 8,266
West Coast 1,659 306 1,965
Grand Total 81,920 40,669 122,589