Suppliers caught short

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Government warm-ups in doubt for local homes this winter.

Wakatipu homeowners may face the cold shoulder this winter over the Government’s new subsidised insulation scheme announced last week.

Eight out-of-town suppliers have been handed the Queenstown market for the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme – yet of four approached by Mountain Scene, one appears to be struggling to get its local act together and another has abandoned the Wakatipu altogether.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority is taking tenders from prospective local providers till July 21.

“No one’s stopping [new providers] from setting up and applying,” spokeswoman Jane O’Loughlin says.

“We want to see as much regional coverage as possible.”

The EECA assesses each company’s tender and if they meet the criteria, they become registered with the scheme.

Under the $323 million pro­gramme, 180,000 homes nationwide built before 2000 will be fitted with clean heating and insulation over the next four years – the Government pays between 33-60 per cent of the cost.

An “overwhelming” response from Wakatipu homeowners and landlords means it’s unlikely people will get their heating and insulation installed before winter’s end, Air Lana co-director Malcolm Corbett says from Christchurch.

Due to demand, it’ll take time for consumer queries to be answered and homes assessed and fitted by their Wanaka distributor Brendan Holloway.

“Normally we’d be delivering in one to two weeks – now it’s at least two months out.

“I think people have to understand it’s a four-year scheme…and they’ve lived with their existing situation for some time,” Corbett says.

Another provider, Dunedin-based Heat ‘n’ Cool, is “still evaluating how we are going to provide services to the Queenstown area”, spokeswoman Della Hopkins says.

“I really don’t want to comment at this present time.

“Sorry I can’t be a lot of help – it’s just we’re not sure exactly how we’re going to manage your particular area and I don’t want to get published saying something that might not be the way we end up doing things.”

Porirua-based CozyCool Con­sortium says it’ll be able to respond to Queenstown’s needs soon. “Our only hold-up would be product,” national business development manager Susan Cameron says.

“So long as the big players have the product underway, then we’re good.”

CozyCool has just signed up a locally based “regional partner” who’ll contact homeowners within 24 hours to make an appointment for a free assessment.

“The assessment will give them a snapshot into their home’s energy efficiency levels and help them prioritise what they can do in the future.”

The assessment also informs people on what sort of grant they’ll be eligible for.

Dunedin-based Craig Scoullar Electrical isn’t servicing the Wakatipu – despite being listed as a provider on the Government’s Energywise website.