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NRT: Insanity

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, March 19th, 2013 - 7 comments
Categories: energy, health, national - Tags: , ,

I/S at No Right Turn on the insanity of scrapping the home insulation programme.


Insanity

The Warm Up New Zealand / Heat Smart home insulation program is one of the government’s few policy successes, producing health benefits four times greater than its costs. So naturally, they’re planning to shitcan it:

The future of a $330 million subsidised home heating and insulation scheme is in doubt despite tracking ahead of budget and being considered a huge success.

[...]

Minister of Energy and Resources Simon Bridges admitted the initiative was a winner but couldn’t say if it would continue in its current form.

Bridges said about 230,000 homes would be retrofitted when the scheme ended in September.

A version of the scheme which targets lower-income families might be an option, Bridges said, but no decision had been made to include any announcement in the Budget on May 16. “While I understand this creates uncertainty for some in the insulation sector, I want to give an assurance that the matter is being considered carefully.”

While the scheme is a huge success, I guess we need to look at it this way: what’s the benefit for rich people in keeping poor kids out of hospital? None at all. Meanwhile it means slumlords – including slumlord MPs - face pressure to upgrade the quality of the housing the rent out. So you can see why they want to get rid of it. But from the point of view of the rest of us, it just looks like sheer insanity.

7 comments on “NRT: Insanity”

  1. SpaceMonkey 1

    Nothing insane about it from the Nats perspective. Less home insulation also means more power used in heating… got to protect the revenue stream for the future private owners of the power generators.

  2. infused 2

    Well one comment for me. It probably doesn’t need to be scrapped, but it seriously needs to be looked at. The providers are milking it, hard.

    We got 3 quotes, two from providers, one from a non-provider. They pretty much all worked out to be the same, even with the subsidy.

    Now that’s fucked.

    • Kevin Welsh 2.1

      Not really. I doubt that there is much difference in price of Pink Batts, for example, between suppliers and I would imagine the labour cost would be similar across the board.

  3. chris73 3

    I think this would be a bad move both politically and morally

    • rosy 3.1

      Politically, morally and financially…

      The Herald on Sunday – which campaigned on the issue last winter – has obtained a glowing Treasury report which describes the benefits as “almost five times the resource costs”. The estimates of gross benefits for the programme are about $1.3 billion compared with the resource cost of just $330 million.

      The biggest success has been in the area of health improvements, which make up about “99 per cent of the total benefits”.

      More ideological, fragmented, short-term thinking.

  4. Lloyd 4

    Insulating houses will reduce electricity demand and therefore reduce value of electricity generating companies that the government wants to sell.

    Stopping rampant insulating of houses is an obvious way of keeping those share values up. If they don’t give a damn about the quality of life of the members of your electorate a politician who thinks that selling state assets at the highest price is the most important thing he/she can do will happily destroy an effective house insulation scheme.

    In the Rogernomics era Bob Tizard was asked why he didn’t support solar water heating and he explained it would drive down the Electricity Department’s income and wouldn’t be supported by the then Labour government.

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