27 Jun 2009

Hawke's Bay council cuts loans for new fires

11:42 am on 27 June 2009

The Hawke's Bay Regional Council is to reduce the size of loans to homeowners wanting to install new fires which comply with national environmental standards.

In December, the council proposed new regulations to reduce smoke emissions from more than 12,000 domestic fires in Napier and Hastings.

They included interest free loans of up to $4,000, in addition to $1,400 from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

But the Government's new home insulation programme, announced in the Budget in May, has seen the EECA grant for many householders cut to $500.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council chairman Alan Dick says that would mean the council would have to find an extra $8 million to keep its original assistance package intact. Loans will be cut by $500 and only half of the loan will be interest free.