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Our Environment: Issue 19 Winter 1999

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

Council To Set Up Energy-advice Service

The City Council plans to set up an independent energy-advice service in response to thousands of calls from people asking about energy efficiency. The free service is likely to be based in an older show-home converted to show the range and benefits of energy-efficient measures.

Council energy manager Leonid Itskovitch says the service should be up and running in August.

The service aims to provide independent advice to all Christchurch residents wanting to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. It will particularly benefit householders who are considering buying a new heating system, or looking at energy-efficiency measures.

"There is no independent agency where people can come and ask about things such as different types of insulation," says Mr Itskovitch. "Most homeowners are unaware of the ways they can save energy, and how they can effectively and efficiently heat their homes."

The Council's energy adviser will analyse customers' energy consumption, discuss potential energy-saving measures and their associated costs and savings, and advise on the optimum investment.

Meanwhile, more than 2000 householders have so far this year taken advantage of the Council's $500 grants to encourage people to convert from open fireplaces and coal burners to clean-air approved forms of heating. Half the conversions have been to enclosed log burners, a third to gas heaters, and the rest to electric appliances, heat pumps and diesel burners.

The Council's clean air programme administrator Mike Gaudin is pleased with the response to the incentives scheme. However he wants to see more people applying for grants available for installing insulation and lagging pipes in old houses.

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