Warmer, greener homes can help fire up local economy

Local News

Ratepayers looking to go green can now apply to an expanded Home Energy Efficiency scheme as NPDC helps local tradies get back to work after Covid-19. 

As part of the $20 million Back On Our Feet measures to help residents and local businesses weather the Covid-19 economic storm, $7.5 million has been allocated to boost the scheme. 

As well as improving heating and insulation, it includes Electric Vehicle charging ports, energy-efficient lighting and a package to help self-sustainability in the garden. The loans, which come in zero-interest and low-interest options, can pay for improvements by qualified local firms.

New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says the revamped initiative is a win-win for everyone with residents getting help for greener and warmer homes while providing vital work for local tradespeople following the unprecedented lockdown. 

“These loans are repaid through your rates, making it easier and cheaper than ever to make your home a warm and snug this winter. We’re helping to get tradies back on the job which is great for our local economy and many of these home improvements are good for the environment too. Many tradies will have seen a downturn so this scheme is a great way to help them Get Back On Their Feet,” says Mayor Holdom. 

The loans can be up to $10,000 and pay for:

  • Insulation.
  • Heating and hot water.
  • Solar power.
  • Charging ports for electric cars.
  • A home garden package for food and self-sustainability.
  • Energy-efficient lighting.
  • Rain water tanks.
  • Grey water systems.
  • Ventilation.

The scheme has two repayment options: zero interest over five years or 3.25 per cent over nine years, and NPDC is dropping the $200 administration fee. Other initiatives in NPDC’s $20 million Back On Our Feet package includes:

  • $8m in rates relief with the deferment of payments for six months or a year.
  • $1.3m on cutting fees for local businesses including restaurants, hairdressers, cafes and builders.
  • $450,000 in extra funding for grassroots groups.
  • $165,000 for small and medium businesses via Venture Taranaki SME grant.
  • $90,000 community and commercial rent relief.
  • Continuing to ‘Buy local’ and giving Taranaki contractors and suppliers an advantage when bidding for NPDC works.
  • $50,000 to help property owners enhance main street buildings. 
  • One hour of free parking in the city over winter, until 30 September.

For more information please visit here.