Christchurch City Council is joining forces with other agencies to provide free advice to Christchurch people rebuilding or repairing their earthquake-damaged homes.
The joint initiative with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) aims to help ensure homes are warm, dry and energy-efficient.
The free Build Back Smarter service provides advice about insulation, heating methods and energy saving measures such as double glazing, ventilation and lighting.
Homeowners can contact one of the service’s assessment providers who will prepare a healthy home improvement plan tailored to the needs and budget of the home owner. Christchurch City councillor and housing spokesperson Glenn Livingstone says about 20,000 homes will be rebuilt or repaired over the next three years.
Major banks are supporting the service by extending mortgages and waiving application fees. Low income families with health issues may be eligible for free ceiling and underfloor insulation through Warm Up New Zealand. Over the next three years the council will invest up to $600,000 in the service – about 40 percent of the total cost – with partner organisations paying the remainder.
Although Build Back Smarter is primarily for earthquake repairs or rebuilding, it is available to all Christchurch home owners and landlords.
Community Energy Action, Right House and Smart Energy Solutions are Build Back Smarter advisors. Homeowners can engage them to do the recommended home improvements but are also free to choose their own tradespeople. Anyone interested in taking advantage of the free assessments can go to: www.buildbacksmarter.co.nz for more information.