At this time of the year, it is very hard to remember how cold Tauranga homes can be in winter.
When I was a principal, I remember vividly some of the houses my young pupils lived in were so cold that you could actually see your breath when you spoke.
It was often colder inside the house than it was outside.
Uninsulated houses are virtually impossible to heat. Simply throwing on another jumper or putting more blankets on the bed does not combat that sort of cold.
All of these people were tenants paying good money to live in substandard homes. The cost of these damp, cold houses to us as a society is huge because of people missing work, children missing school and the health system being inundated during the winter months.
I am very pleased the government recently announced new rules to ensure that all rental homes are warm and dry.
Rentals will have to be fully insulated up to the current Building Code and have a fixed heating source so that everyone has the ability to heat their homes to a safe temperature, as well as kitchen rangehoods and bathroom extractor fans.
The government has also made funding available to help people who own their own homes but can’t afford to insulate. Check out the Energywise website if you need assistance.
Remember that the government brought in the Winter Energy payment last year. Our elderly residents are saying that for the first time in years, they don’t have to go to bed at 3pm to keep warm.