Warming up Kiwi homes

Many New Zealander’s will have just gone through a winter in a cold, damp home. Our houses are traditionally poorly heated and un-insulated – living in these environments can worsen symptoms for those living with asthma and other respiratory conditions. Thankfully, for many Kiwis help is now available through the Warmer Kiwi Homes grant.

A recent recipient of the grant, Ali’itasi Stewart who lives in Christchurch (pictured above), had a new heat pump installed earlier this year, with the grant covering 90% of the heat pump and installation.

Ali’itasi tells her story and how easy it was to get the grant and get the help she needed to warm up her home…

Ali’itasi Stewart’s electricity bill has halved since she had a heat pump installed under the Government’s Warmer Kiwi Homes programme. Her 100-year-old home in Christchurch was very cold in winter and Ali’itasi relied on small portable heaters to survive the chill.

Things changed when EnergySmart offered a grant for insulation and a heater under the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme.

“They knocked on the door during my brother’s funeral but I arranged to talk to them at a later date – and then decided to go for it. My home was already insulated under a previous Government programme so I was eligible for a heat pump.”

Getting the heat pump installed was very straight forward. She arranged a time for the install and EnergySmart also popped in afterwards to make sure she knew how to operate the heat pump and set the controls.

“This winter has been incredibly cold and I have been running the heat pump for about five hours a day – but my bill has halved since I stopped using the small, portable heaters. “I had some health problems during lockdown and ended up having to isolate because of the risk of COVID-19. Having a warm home and lower heating bills was very important because I have asthma.”

Ali’itasi tells friends and family about Warmer Kiwi Homes and advises them to take up the grants and says that getting the heat pump installed was the best decision.

“This is especially important for Pasifika families because they often have older people and children living in the home. It’s just common sense that you need to keep the elderly and children warm.”

She was grateful that EnergySmart explained the grants and how everything worked in plain English.

“These things can get confusing and some of these offers can seem too good to be true but the process was really straight forward.”

About the Warmer Kiwi Homes Grant

Warmer Kiwi Homes grants are available for lower-income homeowners and now cover 90% of the cost of ceiling and under floor insulation, as well as an efficient heater in the main living area. Grants for heaters are capped at $3,000.

Homeowners may be eligible if they have a Community Services Card or live in a lower-income area.

You can find out if you’re eligible for a grant by taking a very short questionnaire on the Warmer Kiwi Homes website. Visit

Or if you prefer to speak with someone directly, you can call the team at Warmer Kiwi Homes on freephone 0800 749 782

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