Healthier homes project reaches 750 customer milestone

Absolute Energy is so proud to be supporting the the Warmer Healthier Homes Nelson Tasman Marlborough initiative and congratulate all involved in reaching this fantastic milestone.

Bill Dahlberg, left and Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese, right with Esta Wright who's home was the 750th to be retrofitted with insulation as part of the Warmer Healthier Homes Nelson Tasman Marlborough.

A scheme reducing illness by keeping homes warmer as reached a milestone.

The Warmer Healthier Homes Nelson Tasman Marlborough (WHH NTM) project has been helping people in the top of the south since February 2014.

Last week saw the 750th customer benefiting from a warmer home.

Warmer Healthier Homes chair and creator Bill Dalberg said the contractor for the project, Absolute Energy, had to "gear up with more staff to keep up with our demand".

He said since starting up the initiative, 460 Nelson homes and 199 Tasman homes and been insulated, along with 91 in Marlborough.

Providing heavily subsidised insulation along with advice to eligible homeowners and tenants, eligibility relies on residents having a Community Services Card with referrals prioritised for people with chronic health conditions or households with children under five years old or people over 65.

The project ensures homes are efficiently heated and kept warm while having no impact on health issues.

"People will heat up a space, when the heat stops, the heat quickly dissipates through the floor, ceiling and windows. You end up with a cold house at night."

He said fighting the cold wasn't the worst side effect.

"When you heat the home, you have more moisture being carried by the warm air and so at night when it cools down it goes to your windows or ceiling which is where you get your mildew and unhealthy issues. It ends up in people's lungs ... so they're breathing that."

The feedback from customers had been positive, Dahlberg said, with many reporting improved health and no longer needing medication for conditions caused by a cold, damp environment.

Supported by a team including the Nelson City Council, Rata, Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, ECCA and Absolute Energy, residents are able to have their home insulated for half the cost or free, depending on their circumstances.

The initiative has also attracted corporate support from Port Nelson, Network Tasman Charitable Trust and Mainland Foundation with Dahlberg hoping more businesses will join in.

Last Friday retiree Esta Wright became the scheme's 750th customer.

She had owned her home in The Wood for 25 years, but it wasn't keeping in the heat.

In particular her floors were "like ice."

An assessor visited her home and told her there were a lot of gaps worth fixing.

Since having more insulation installed and plastic sheeting laid, Wright said she could feel the difference straight away.

"I've noticed a great difference, especially in the floor. It's going to be a lot more pleasant for my feet."

Read full article here - courtesy The Nelson Mail.