Maru Energy Trust already seeing positive results
28 May 2019
Maru Energy Trust’s aim to warm up homes is seeing excellent results with funding to insulate 56 homes in the King Country and Central North Island.
Established in August by The Lines Company (TLC) as an independent charitable trust, Maru receives the bulk of its funding from the Energy and Efficiency Conservation Authority’s (EECA) Warmer Kiwi Homes programme, with the remainder from TLC.
Last year, the Government allocated $142.5 million over four years to EECA to cover two-thirds of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation. But thanks to Maru, eligible homeowners are not having to pay at all.
Administrator Jo Meads, who came on board in February, says the feedback from locals has been extremely positive.
“There are eligibility criteria around this programme, however, many people living in the region qualify so Maru is certainly making a difference. Helping families’ access funding to insulate their homes is very rewarding.”
Trust chair, Waitomo mayor Brian Hanna agrees. “It’s a reality that people suffer poor health from living in cold, damp conditions, so we’re thrilled Maru has already made a significant difference in a short period of time. “This is just the beginning of the trustees’ long-term vision for Maru. It’s very exciting.”
Mrs Meads works closely with EECA and the WISE Charitable Trust in Waitara who carry out home assessments and insulation installation.
Local agencies such as the Maniapoto Whanau Ora Centre in Te Kuiti, Ngati Rangi Trust (Ohakune), Ōtorohanga Support House, Mangakino Health Services, Taumarunui Kokiri Community Trust and the Waikato DHB are also connecting with Mrs Meads.
“The support and expertise from these organisations have been great and allowed us to reach even more people,” she says.
Te Kūiti resident Nicole Taitoko is one young homeowner delighted her home will be insulated.
“The whole process has been so easy with both Maru and WISE. Everyone was so good – friendly, non-judgmental and very accommodating with everything explained clearly.
“We count ourselves lucky to be getting help from Maru. Without it we would not have been able to insulate our home for a very long time,” says Mrs Taitoko.
“It’s going to make it easier to heat in winter and help lower our power bills. We are really grateful.”
Mrs Meads encourages people to contact her to check their eligibility.
You can contact the Maru Energy Trust on 0800 808 901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org