Healthier Homes Canterbury – Information for ratepayers
Healthier Homes Canterbury can help make your home warmer, drier and healthier.
Healthier Homes Canterbury enables eligible Canterbury ratepayers to add the cost of home heating, insulation and/or ventilation products and installation to their rates bills. A maximum of $6,000 (including GST) is available per ratepayer.
The full amount plus interest will be paid back via their rates bills over nine years. This interest rate makes the scheme cost neutral to the rest of the community.
The interest rate for those joining before 30 June 2019 is 5.9% pa and will remain fixed for the full nine years. We expect to continue offering Healthier Homes Canterbury until 2028.
What the $6,000 can be used for
- Heating – heat pumps, wood burners, flued gas heaters, pellet fires and heat transfer systems
- Insulation – ceiling, underfloor, draught stopping and moisture barrier where required
- Ventilation – kitchen and bathroom extractor fans
- Solid fuel burner building consent fees (if the consent application is handled by the supplier)
- Home Performance Assessment cost (where applicable and if it is carried out by the registered heating or insulation supplier)
Any products must be installed by a registered supplier. Any heating or insulation products must be on our list of accepted products (see below).
- You must be the ratepayer of the property
- Your property must be in Canterbury
- Your rates payments must be up-to-date, and you need to have a good history of making a payment over the past three years (although this may be waived if you recently bought your first home in Canterbury)
Even if you meet the eligibility criteria, we encourage you to explore other options available before applying for Healthier Homes Canterbury and consider seeking independent financial advice.
Other options include loans from banks or retailers and subsidies from other sources such as the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.
Environment Canterbury also offers subsidies, which do not need to be repaid, for low-income households that meet certain criteria. Temporary waivers for non-compliant burners are also available in some exceptional cases.
How to apply
The application form will be available here from 24 September 2018. Here’s what you can expect the application process to look like.
All done - enjoy a warmer, drier, healthier home!
Any wood burner or pellet fire installed by a registered supplier must appear on our list of authorised wood burners. Any heat pump or flued gas heater installed must appear on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s list of accepted heating products.
Any insulation product installed by a registered supplier as part of Healthier Homes Canterbury must appear on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s list of accepted insulation products.
Any ventilation product recommended by a registered supplier is accepted.
Frequently asked questions
From 24 September 2018, eligible ratepayers who are interested in applying to Healthier Homes Canterbury will need to fill out an application form and submit a maximum of two quotes from registered suppliers that they want to go ahead with, e.g. one for heating and one for insulation. Application forms will be available on this page or by calling our Customer Services team on 0800 329 276 from 24 September 2018.
What are the full criteria?
In general, you must own a property in Canterbury and have a good history of paying rates.
Full criteria for more detail:
- All applicants must be Canterbury ratepayers.
- Rates must be up to date and the ratepayer must have a good history of making rates payments over the last three years (although applicants who haven’t owned a home in Canterbury for three years yet may be eligible).
- The scheme is available to owner-occupiers and rental properties but is limited to one application per person.
- It is available for homes held in a trust or company, subject to the limit of one application per person.
- The product, product installer and product retailer selected must all be registered with Environment Canterbury to participate in Healthier Homes Canterbury.
- Environment Canterbury reserves the right to accept or decline applications at their sole discretion.
How does Healthier Homes Canterbury work?
It is strongly recommended that all ratepayers consider having a Home Performance Assessment from a registered supplier before proceeding with an application. This will give the ratepayer a clear indication of what products are needed to create a healthier, warmer home. A list of qualified Home Performance Assessors will be available on this page from 24 September 2018. If a fee is charged for this assessment, it would need to be paid by the ratepayer, however, it could be included in the total amount sought under Healthier Homes Canterbury if it was performed by the supplier that ends up installing the heating/insulation.
Once the ratepayer is ready to proceed, they will need to source a quote for the product/s and installation from a registered supplier. In some cases, more than one supplier may be needed and therefore more than one quote will be needed. The ratepayer can then apply to Healthier Homes Canterbury through Environment Canterbury from 24 September 2018. Applications can be received online or by post. If approved, Environment Canterbury will advise the ratepayer and the registered supplier of the application’s success.
It will then be the responsibility of the supplier to contact the ratepayer to arrange delivery and installation. The supplier will then invoice Environment Canterbury, not the ratepayer, for any work completed or product supplied. Environment Canterbury will pay all suppliers directly. The agreed amount of the advance, up to a maximum of $6,000, will be added to the ratepayer’s rates account starting July the following year. The ratepayer will pay it back in equal instalments over nine years including interest.
What can Healthier Homes Canterbury be used for?
Healthier Homes Canterbury can be used for heating, insulation and ventilation products and installation up to the value of $6,000 (including GST). All heating and insulation products will need to be on Environment Canterbury’s lists of accepted products and will need to be supplied and installed by a supplier that is registered with Environment Canterbury. See above the section titled “Accepted products” for full information about products.
What is the maximum and minimum amount I can get?
A minimum of $500 must be applied for to meet the eligibility criteria. The maximum value is $6,000 inclusive of GST.
What is the fixed interest rate?
The interest rate is fixed for the term of the advance and is currently 5.9% pa.
This means the quarterly repayment amount will not change during the lifetime of the advance, except for the final payment which may be different by a very small amount to match the balance outstanding. Note: the interest rate offered to someone joining the scheme in the 2018/19 financial year may not be the same as the interest rate offered to someone joining the scheme in a future year.
Is this the best interest rate available?
No, there are other options available. We recommend applicants explore all available finance options before selecting Healthier Homes Canterbury. The interest rate has been established to ensure non-participating Canterbury ratepayers are not affected by this scheme. It covers all finance and administration costs. Environment Canterbury is not making any money from this scheme – it is cost neutral.
How many suppliers can one applicant use?
You can use up to two suppliers (one for heating and one for insulation) as long as all work is carried out within the same 30-day period. For example, if you are getting a heating appliance installed by one supplier and insulation installed by another, you will need to coordinate the installation dates so that they are within one month of each other. If you are facing delays outside of your control and are not able to get all work completed within the 30-day period, contact us as soon as possible because some exceptions may apply.
Can I get a subsidy and use Healthier Homes Canterbury?
Yes. Subsidies of up to $5,000 are currently available to low-income households in clean air zones who meet certain criteria. It would be possible, for example, to cover part of the cost of home heating upgrades with a subsidy and part with Healthier Homes Canterbury. In those cases, the application process may vary slightly, and we encourage you to call Customer Services on 0800 329 276 to enquire further.
How are repayments made?
The total amount sought by the applicant via Healthier Homes Canterbury and interest will be added to the successful applicant’s quarterly rates starting at the beginning of the next financial year and continuing for nine years at a fixed interest rate. For example, if you are accepted into Healthier Homes Canterbury in January 2019, you would not see the added amount on your rates account until July 2019 (the beginning of the next financial year).
You don’t need to do anything extra to set it up – we’ll work directly with your city or district council to make sure it’s all sorted. Healthier Homes Canterbury would be identified separately on your rates invoice, and you would pay any amount owing in the same way you pay your normal rates.
What happens if I’m accepted into the scheme and then miss a rates payment?
The usual process for a territorial authority for seeking payment of overdue rates will also apply to any Healthier Homes Canterbury charges.
How long will it take to process an application?
An application will take approximately 15 working days to process if all required information has been provided. Depending on demand, there may be delays outside of this, but this will be communicated to the applicant.
How is payment made to the supplier?
Environment Canterbury will pay the registered supplier directly once the product has been supplied or installed and on presentation of an invoice.
Can I complete the installation work myself?
Only if you are a registered supplier. All suppliers must be registered with Environment Canterbury.
What happens if I sell my home before I finish repaying the advance?
You need to repay the full amount owing. You or your lawyer would contact Environment Canterbury to calculate the settlement amount. Your lawyer would then arrange for the payment of the outstanding balance to the relevant territorial authority as part of the sale settlement process.
Can the advance be paid back more quickly?
Advances can be repaid in full at any time. Please contact Environment Canterbury to obtain the amount required to clear the advance in full. This will include a credit for interest saved on the remaining term of the advance. There is a $100 (incl GST) processing fee for early repayment.
Can I spend more than $6,000 – using Healthier Homes Canterbury and making up the balance themselves?
Yes, as long as it is approved by Environment Canterbury before work starts and a registered supplier is used. When you submit your quote/s as part of the application process, if the total is over $6,000 you will be expected to pay the difference yourself directly to your supplier/s.
Is the cost of a building consent covered by Healthier Homes Canterbury?
Yes, but only if it is arranged by the supplier and included on their invoice.
Why is Healthier Homes Canterbury necessary?
The home heating measures in the Air Plan require some Cantabrians to upgrade to cleaner, more efficient forms of home heating. Additionally, some people – particularly those living in older homes – don’t have insulation or ventilation to help keep them warm, dry and healthy over winter.
Not everyone has the money to pay for this upfront, so we want to provide an option for people to pay it off over time through their rates bills. This is especially designed for people who may not have access to other sources of finance (e.g. a bank loan).
How do I know if this is the right decision for me?
We can’t make that decision for you. We urge you to shop around and find the option that works best for you. You may wish to consider seeking independent financial advice before applying for Healthier Homes Canterbury.
How much would it increase my rates payments by?
It depends how much you borrow. Use this table as a guide. This is based on a 5.9% interest rate.
|Amount of advance||$1000||$2000||$3000||$4000||$5000||$6000|
|Total interest to pay over 9 years||$296||$592||$888||$1,184||$1,480||$1,776|
|Total added to rates bill each quarter||$36||$72||$108||$144||$180||$216|
|Total to pay over 9 years including interest||$1,296||$2,592||$3,888||$5,184||$6,480||$7,776|
Note: all figures are approximate.
Is there an application fee?
Will this appear on my LIM?
Yes, we will work with your territorial authority to add your loan to your LIM and then remove it when the loan has been repaid in full. There would be no extra charge for this service.