Change in approach on insulating quake damaged homes

10:35 pm on 4 March 2013

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) says customers can now install insulation in areas exposed during earthquake repairs, even if the insulation work is not earthquake related.

The commission's Canterbury home repair programme manager, Reid Stiven, said it is collaborating with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to make the work programme possible.

Mr Stiven said all non-earthquake insulation installations will have to be arranged and funded by the homeowner, but as of 1 March owners will be able to have insulation installed in conjunction with earthquake repairs.

He said the new approach, developed with EECA's help, brings a common sense solution to a common situation.

EECA chief executive Mike Underhill said insulating walls, ceilings and under floors improves heat retention in a house by up to 70% and that means more comfortable, healthier homes that are cheaper to heat.

Mr Underhill said Canterbury homeowners whose repair work exposes these kinds of areas and are able to seize this opportunity could be looking forward to much warmer winters.

The Canterbury Home Repair Programme is New Zealand's largest ever residential building programme. It covers properties with damage greater than $15,000 and less than $100,000 per event.

About 32,000 properties have so far been repaired, with about 53,000 remaining in the programme. Repairs are currently being completed at approximately 2,000 per month.