Supporting households to reduce emissions
In the past several years, our economy’s strength and resilience has been repeatedly tested by unprecedented and unimagined global shocks. While our economy and people have had the strength and flexibility to absorb these shocks, some effects have flowed through to families and households, putting pressure on living standards and the cost of living.
Households have large potential to help drive climate action, though these choices need to be enabled at a system level by Government decisions. Managing immediate pressures can, however, sometimes come at the expense of addressing longer-term priorities. That is why significant investments in Budget 2023 will go towards addressing the dual challenges of climate change and the cost of living.
Budget 2023 provides $402.6 million to expand the duration and scope of the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme, so it can continue to reach roughly 26,500 homes a year through to 2026/27. Since its establishment in 2018, the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme has delivered more than 100,000 home insulation and heating retrofits to low-income households, helping to mitigate energy hardship, reduce emissions, and improve the health and wellbeing of families and whānau across New Zealand. This new spending will also expand the scope of the current Warmer Kiwi Homes programme, so that new low-cost energy-saving interventions can also be delivered to eligible homes. These include measures such as LED lighting improvements, water heating retrofits, and basic home repairs.
Extending the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme
The Warmer Kiwi Homes programme offers Government grants to eligible lower-income homeowners to cover 80 percent of home insulation costs and up to 80 percent of the cost of an efficient heater. Further top ups from community organisations in some centres have made the cost of insulation and heating even lower or no-cost.
New investments made in Budget 2023 will provide funding to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to extend the programme’s existing insulation and heating components until 2026/27 and expand its coverage to include outreach to hard-to-reach households, the provision of new low-cost energy-saving devices, and basic home repairs. These new investments will allow this highly successful programme to continue to deliver health, social, environmental, and economic benefits to households and families into the future.
Households will also be supported with $327.4 million in funding to reduce the cost of public transportation. This investment will extend the Community Connect programme to offer free public transportation to children under 13, and half-price transportation to Total Mobility passengers and passengers aged 13 to 24.
This funding also coincides with a $49.3 million investment in our public transport workforce, to ensure we have the people in place to sustainably deliver high-quality services that will encourage people to move out of cars and into public transport.