Financial assistance and temporary waivers

Woodburners are a great way to stay warm during winter; however, we know smoke from older-style log burners is the major contributor to urban air quality problems in many Canterbury towns. Because of this, we're phasing out older burners.

We acknowledge that replacing old log burners with new, cleaner forms of heating can be costly, so we have partnered with Community Energy Action Charitable Trust and EnergySmart to help homeowners in Clean Air Zones make the transition easier.

Our partners can assess your home or tenanted property for energy use, recommend heating options, provide advice on using your burner and produce a report on how to make your home warmer.

For a small number of people facing exceptional circumstances, where financial assistance is not sufficient or appropriate, we may consider a temporary waiver for the use of a non-compliant wood burner.  This is assessed on a case-by-case basis and will help you get on the path to replacing your non-compliant burner.

Financial assistance eligibility

If you are eligible for financial assistance, Community Energy Action Charitable Trust or EnergySmart (depending on where you live) will submit an application for insulation and heating funding on your behalf. You can check your eligibilty based on where you live in Canterbury using the drop-down menus below.

Rangiora eligibility

You or someone in your household (owner or tenant) must have one or more of the following:

  • a current Community Services Card; or
  • combined SuperGold Card and Community Services Card; or
  • just miss out on being eligible for a Community Services Card by $5,000 or less (IRD proof of income required); or
  • receive working for families assistance; or
  • receive a rates rebate for the current financial year; or
  • receive a disability support pension.

Note:

Other evidence of financial hardship is considered on a case by case basis. Please contact us to discuss.

Health referrals in conjunction with demonstrable low income are also useful.

Your wood burner must be:

  • an older-style burner that is coming up to being 15 years old (due for replacement); and
  • situated in the main living area.

Note:

If there are other heating sources (heat pump/gas or pellet fire) in the main living area, you may be eligible, especially if these are not adequately heating this area of your home.

From 1 November 2017, if your wood burner is an older-style wood burner and it is older than 15 years (it has expired) assistance is still available to upgrade to either a heat pump, an ultra-low emission pellet fire or ultra-low emission wood burner.

Your property must:

  • be located in the Rangiora Clean Air Zone (visit Canterbury Maps if you’re not sure); and
  • not have previously received financial support from Environment Canterbury towards heating replacement (clean heat loans for heating or home heating subsidy).

You should contact: 

Kaiapoi eligibility

You or someone in your household (owner or tenant) must have one or more of the following:

  • a current Community Services Card; or
  • combined SuperGold Card and Community Services Card; or
  • just miss out on being eligible for a Community Services Card by $5,000 or less (IRD proof of income required); or
  • receive working for families assistance; or
  • receive a rates rebate for the current financial year; or
  • receive a disability support pension.

Note:

Other evidence of financial hardship is considered on a case by case basis. Please contact us to discuss.

Health referrals in conjunction with demonstrable low income are also useful.

Your wood burner must be:

  • an older style burner that is coming up to being 15 years old (due for replacement); and
  • situated in the main living area.

Note:

If there are other heating sources (heat pump/gas or pellet fire) in the main living area, you may be eligible, especially if these are not adequately heating this area of your home.

From 1 November 2017, if your wood burner is an older-style wood burner and it is older than 15 years (it has expired) assistance is still available to upgrade to either a heat pump, an ultra-low emission pellet fire or ultra-low emission wood burner.

Your property must:

  • be located in the Kaiapoi Clean Air Zone (visit Canterbury Maps if you’re not sure); and
  • not have previously received financial support from Environment Canterbury towards heating replacement (clean heat loans for heating or home heating subsidy).

You should contact: 

Christchurch eligibility

You or someone in your household (owner or tenant) must have one or more of the following:

  • a current Community Services Card; or
  • combined SuperGold Card and Community Services Card; or
  • just miss out on being eligible for a Community Services Card by $5,000 or less (IRD proof of income required); or
  • receive working for families assistance; or
  • receive a rates rebate for the current financial year; or
  • receive a disability support pension.

Note:

Other evidence of financial hardship is considered on a case by case basis. Please contact us to discuss.

Health referrals in conjunction with demonstrable low income are also useful.

Your wood burner must be:

  • situated in the main living area; and
  • an older-style burner.

Note:

If there are other heating sources (heat pump/gas or pellet fire) in the main living area, you may be eligible, especially if these are not adequately heating this area of your home.

From 1 November 2017, if your wood burner is an older-style wood burner (it has expired) assistance is still available to upgrade to either a heat pump, an ultra-low emission pellet fire or an ultra-low emission wood burner.

Your property must:

  • be located in the Christchurch Clean Air Zone (visit Canterbury Maps if you’re not sure); and
  • not have previously received financial support from Environment Canterbury towards heating replacement (clean heat loans for heating or home heating subsidy).

You should contact: 

Ashburton eligibility

You or someone in your household (owner or tenant) must have one or more of the following:

  • a current Community Services Card; or
  • combined SuperGold Card and Community Services Card; or
  • just miss out on being eligible for a Community Services Card by $5,000 or less (IRD proof of income required); or
  • receive working for families assistance; or
  • receive a rates rebate for the current financial year; or
  • receive a disability support pension.

Note:

Other evidence of financial hardship is considered on a case by case basis. Please contact us to discuss.

Health referrals in conjunction with demonstrable low income are also useful.

Your wood burner must be:

  • an older style burner that is coming up to being 15 years old (due for replacement); and
  • situated in the main living area.

Note:

If there are other heating sources (heat pump/gas or pellet fire) in the main living area, you may be eligible, especially if these are not adequately heating this area of your home.

From 1 November 2017, if your wood burner is an older-style wood burner and it is older than 15 years (it has expired) assistance is still available to upgrade to either a heat pump, an ultra-low emission pellet fire or ultra-low emission wood burner.

Your property must:

  • be located in the Ashburton Clean Air Zone (visit Canterbury Maps if you’re not sure); and
  • not have previously received financial support from Environment Canterbury towards heating replacement (clean heat loans for heating or home heating subsidy).

You should contact: 

Geraldine eligibility

You or someone in your household (owner or tenant) must have one or more of the following:

  • a current Community Services Card; or
  • combined SuperGold Card and Community Services Card; or
  • just miss out on being eligible for a Community Services Card by $5,000 or less (IRD proof of income required); or
  • receive working for families assistance; or
  • receive a rates rebate for the current financial year; or
  • receive a disability support pension.

Note:

Other evidence of financial hardship is considered on a case by case basis. Please contact us to discuss.

Health referrals in conjunction with demonstrable low income are also useful.

Your wood burner must be:

  • situated in the main living area; and
  • an older-style burner due for replacement (older-style burners can no longer be used from 1 January 2019, or from when a house is sold – whichever is sooner).

Note:

If there are other heating sources (heat pump/gas or pellet fire) in the main living area, you may be eligible, especially if these are not adequately heating this area of your home.

Your property must:

  • be located in the Geraldine Clean Air Zone (visit Canterbury Maps if you’re not sure); and
  • not have previously received financial support from Environment Canterbury towards heating replacement (clean heat loans for heating or home heating subsidy).

You should contact: 

Timaru eligibility

You or someone in your household (owner or tenant) must have one or more of the following:

  • a current Community Services Card; or
  • combined SuperGold Card and Community Services Card; or
  • just miss out on being eligible for a Community Services Card by $5,000 or less (IRD proof of income required); or
  • receive working for families assistance; or
  • receive a rates rebate for the current financial year; or
  • receive a disability support pension.

Note:

Other evidence of financial hardship is considered on a case by case basis. Please contact us to discuss.

Health referrals in conjunction with demonstrable low income are also useful.

Your wood burner must be:

  • an older style burner that is coming up to being 15 years old (due for replacement); and
  • situated in the main living area.

Note:

If there are other heating sources (heat pump/gas or pellet fire) in the main living area, you may be eligible, especially if these are not adequately heating this area of your home.

From 1 November 2017, if your wood burner is an older-style wood burner and it is older than 15 years (it has expired) assistance is still available to upgrade to either a heat pump, an ultra-low emission pellet fire or ultra-low emission wood burner.

If you have a low emission wood burner, it can be used until it is 15 years old or until 1 January 2019, whichever is later.  When it requires replacing, financial assistance is available.

Your property must:

  • be located in the Timaru Clean Air Zone (visit Canterbury Maps if you’re not sure); and
  • not have previously received financial support from Environment Canterbury towards heating replacement (clean heat loans for heating or home heating subsidy).

You should contact: 

Read about our temporary waiver initiative.

Waimate eligibility

You or someone in your household (owner or tenant) must have one or more of the following:

  • a current Community Services Card; or
  • combined SuperGold Card and Community Services Card; or
  • just miss out on being eligible for a Community Services Card by $5,000 or less (IRD proof of income required); or
  • receive working for families assistance; or
  • receive a rates rebate for the current financial year; or
  • receive a disability support pension.

Note:

Other evidence of financial hardship is considered on a case by case basis. Please contact us to discuss.

Health referrals in conjunction with demonstrable low income are also useful.

Your wood burner must be:

  • situated in the main living area; and
  • an older-style burner due for replacement (older-style burners can no longer be used from 1 January 2019, or from when a house is sold – whichever is sooner).

Note:

If there are other heating sources (heat pump/gas or pellet fire) in the main living area, you may be eligible, especially if these are not adequately heating this area of your home.

Your property must:

  • be located in the Waimate Clean Air Zone (visit Canterbury Maps if you’re not sure); and
  • not have previously received financial support from Environment Canterbury towards heating replacement (clean heat loans for heating or home heating subsidy).

You should contact: 

I'm eligible — what next? 

You should contact customer servicesCommunity Energy Action Charitable Trust or EnergySmart to book a home energy check for your property. Your needs will be assessed and ways to proceed towards replacement will be discussed.

Applications for financial assistance can be made at any time and are assessed on a case by case basis. Subsidies range from $500 to $5000 and in some cases, may cover the full cost of replacing an older burner.

Temporary waivers for non-complying burners

A small number of households facing particularly difficult circumstances may get a temporary waiver, enabling them to use their expired burner for another winter. However, they will then need to upgrade to an ultra-low emission wood burner if they wish to continue burning wood.

This has been referred to as a “leniency” in the past and applies only to households demonstrating extenuating circumstances such as waiting on earthquake or flood repairs/rebuilds, health issues, financial hardship where a subsidy is not appropriate or sufficient, or waiting on an ultra-low emission wood burner “insert” model that is not yet on the market.

To enquire about this possibility, contact Customer Services on 0800 329 276, or read more about how this works in Timaru specifically.

What else can you do?