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Published: 2012-05-18 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council is looking for Tokoroa homeowners to receive a free heating upgrade this winter.

Funding is still available in the council’s Waikato Clean Heat Retrofit Programme. Homeowners who think they qualify should contact Moetu Togia on 07 885 0776 by Friday 8 June.

To be considered, homeowners need to have a community services card and must own an adequately insulated home, heated by an older-style woodburner or fireplace in Tokoroa.

The programme offers free clean heat appliances, including complying woodburners, pellet fires and heat pumps, to replace their less efficient, more polluting older-style woodburners and open fires.

The Waikato Clean Heat Retrofit Programme is jointly funded by the Waikato Regional Council and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. It aims to improve air quality, particularly over the winter monthswhen there can be an excessive amount of harmful fine particles, known as PM10.

PM10 comes mainly from wood burnt for home heating in older, woodburners and open fires. PM10 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 improve the air and can keep people warmer and healthier while saving them money.

“We recognise that low-income households can have difficulty raising the funds to change heating systems, and this is a practical way of supporting that change.”