- Date Sunday 1 July 2018, 12:00 AM
Waimate’s Clean Air Zone has different rules to other areas in South Canterbury, including Timaru, so if you’re unsure about home heating and using wood as fuel then contact Environment Canterbury (ECan) for help.
Environment Canterbury Operations Manager – Timaru, Judith Earl-Goulet, says in Waimate open fires have been banned in properties measuring under two hectares since 31 December 2017 and there have also been changes to rules around older-style woodburners.
“Older-style wood burners are being phased out in properties measuring under two hectares in size by 1 January 2020 or if your property is sold before this date – so now is a good time to start thinking about upgrading if you wish to keep using wood as your heat source.”
Ultra-low emission burners and low-emission burners are allowed into all homes, including new homes.
Low-income tenants or homeowners in Waimate may also be eligible for financial subsidies. Homeowners may be able to add the cost of a new home heating appliance, insulation or ventilation to their rates bill later this year as part of ECan's Healthier Homes Canterbury.
Ms Earl-Goulet says, “We understand that upgrading to cleaner heating technology is not easy or affordable for everyone – that’s why people should get in touch with our friendly team as soon as possible to discuss how we might be able to help.
“Winter air quality in Waimate is improving, thanks to those who have stopped using open fires, switched to modern woodburners or heat pumps. Our communities have welcomed the decline in high pollution nights over the past decade, and we are all looking forward to more progress in future years.”