The Heatsmart Programme
What is Heatsmart?
The Heatsmart programme was set up to improve air quality in Hawke's Bay by reducing air pollution from home woodburners and fires. The air pollution caused by domestic fires affects people’s health, so the government has set emission limits for all domestic fires on properties less than 2 hectares, and if you have a fire that was installed before 2005, this is now prohibited from use in urban areas.
Why is Air pollution a problem?
On average, everyone breaths around 14,000 litres of air each day. With population growth, air pollution has increased substantially and this is linked to a wide range of respiratory and cardiovascular health issues. The air pollutant that has the most detrimental effect on our health is called PM10.
During the winter months our air pollution increases substantially, with PM10 reaching high levels. This is mainly caused by open fires and older wood burners. Pollutants in the smoke from home fires can cause a range of health issues including asthma, irritation to eyes, throat and lungs, respiratory disease and in the most serious cases, premature death.
Hawke's Bay will meet the National Environmental Standard (NES) for air quality set by the Ministry for the Environment. HBRC measure and monitor our air quality during the winter months in 'Airsheds' that are located in areas where air pollution is known to be at its highest levels. We use these monitoring results to compare and comply with air quality standards and guidelines designed to protect public health. See our Air Quality page for more information about our monitoring.
What is HBRC doing to help?
The HBRC Heatsmart programme helps Hawke's Bay ratepayers to get a warmer, healthier home by providing grants and loans to replace non-compliant wood burners, and the cost of fitting insulation. Please see our Grants & Loans page to see if you qualify for the scheme and how to apply.
The programme will reduce the PM10 levels in Hawke's Bay by providing the following:
- Grants and loans for clean heat and insulation.
- A programme to phase out older, inefficient wood burners which don't meet emission standards.
- Provide information and advice about air quality, ways to limit air pollution, and about clean heat.
- Replacement options for older, non-compliant wood burners.
- Burn dry, seasoned wood (see our dry wood scheme page).
- Insulate your home - (see our grants & assistance page for financial assistance).
- Recycle and compost green waste - in urban areas, burning rubbish and green waste is already banned.
Clean Heat Options
There is a wide range of clean heating options available to choose from, depending on your preference and budget. The best place to start is to check out the most up to date list of heating devices which have been approved for funding assistance. These include selected wood burners, pellet fires, heat pumps and flued gas heaters and fires. Please see our Grants & Loans page for financial assistance.