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Expired burner? Replace it before winter bites

Wednesday, March 13, 2024   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: pollution, heating, funding, housing, winter

Is your wood burner expired or expiring? Replace it to help clear the air in Waitaha | Canterbury.

Environment Canterbury will mail around 1300 letters to addresses in Ōtautahi | Christchurch and Timaru that have expired or expiring wood burners over the next few weeks.

The main message in these letters: your non-compliant wood burner needs to be replaced with a cleaner form of heating, such as an ultra-low emission burner or efficient heat pump. Subsidies are available to help low-income homeowners replace their expired wood burners.

ECan are also asking Canterbury building inspectors to include information about wood burner expiry on their building reports to help inform homeowners and prospective buyers about burner compliance rules.

How to find out if your burner has expired

Under the Canterbury Air Regional Plan, low-emission burners can be used for 20 years from installation (or 15 years in Timaru), after which they become non-compliant and can no longer be used. Low-emission burners are still allowed in the Geraldine and Waimate Clean Air Zones.

Find out more about the Canterbury Air Regional Plan.

Check what information ECan holds about your burner on the Solid Fuel Burner Database or call them on 0800 326 636.

As our data is based on burner installation permits, we may not be aware of burner removals or home rebuilds. Please contact ECan if the information they have about your property on the database is incorrect.

Moving to cleaner heating options

Many people in Canterbury have already switched to cleaner home heating options and as a result, our air quality is improving. With all of us playing our part, we can reduce emissions even further, so everyone has cleaner, healthier air to breathe.  

To keep using a burner to heat your home, you need to upgrade to a clean air-approved, ultra-low emitting burner. Expired burners produce far more air pollution than modern burners or heat pumps. Alternatively, you can replace your burner or pellet fire with an efficient heat pump.

A number of heat pumps and ultra-low-emission burners are now available to buy from home improvement shops and specialist heating companies. When installing a new burner into your property, you will also need to obtain a building consent from your local district or city council. 

Financial assistance to replace expiring and expired wood burners

You may be eligible for financial assistance towards the cost of a new heat pump or ultra-low emission burner (ULEB) and/or insulation upgrades through the:

To be eligible for the ECan subsidy, you must:  

and either: 

  • be a Community Services Card (CSC) or SuperGold Combo card holder (with ‘CSC’ on the back), OR 
  • live in an eligible low-income Social Deprivation Index (SDI) area 8–10. 

Other evidence of financial hardship is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please note that burners that expired before 25th October 2016 are not eligible for funding. Tenanted properties are also not eligible.

To check your eligibility and apply, contact:

  • Community Energy Action (CEA) or 0800 438 9276 (0800 GET WARM) if your property is in Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Christchurch or Ashburton.
  • EnergySmart on 0800 777 111 if your property is in Timaru, Waimate and Geraldine.

What to do if you’re not eligible for a subsidy and can’t afford a new heat pump or ULEB 

We don’t want anyone to be cold at home. Some households facing difficult circumstances may get a temporary waiver to enable them to use their expired burner for another winter. Contact ECan on 0800 326 636 to ask about this option.

What to do if you’re renting

Most landlords are now responsible for providing an efficient fixed heater (such as a heat pump or compliant burner) in the living room - under the Healthy Homes Standards.

Find out more about the Healthy Homes Standards.

More information on home heating and air quality