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Published: 2012-02-28 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council is looking for homeowners in Te Kuiti to have a new clean heating appliance installed, as part of its Waikato Clean Heat Retrofit Programme.

Qualifying homeowners receive a free clean heat appliance, such as a complying woodburner, pellet fire or heat pump, to replace their older, less efficient, more polluting older-style woodburner or open fire.

The move is designed to improve air quality in Te Kuiti particularly over the winter months, when there can be an excessive amount of air borne fine particles, known as PM10.

To be considered for the programme, the home needs to be located in the Te Kuiti airshed and needs to be adequately insulated. The homeowner also needs to have a community services card.

PM10 is carried in smoke from older-style wood burning fires and is also emitted when wet wood is burned in more modern fireplaces. It is not visible to the human eye and is small enough to get into people’s lungs and cause serious health problems.  

Waikato Regional Council policy advisor Amanda Banks said: “Clean heat appliances are better for the air and more efficient. People can have warmer homes and still spend less on heating.”

“We’re giving households on low incomes this great opportunity, as it can be very difficult for them to find the money to change heating systems.”

Enquiries can be directed to Rebecca Whitehead at Waitomo District Council on 07 878 0800.