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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Heating scheme lets Chch family down

Heating scheme lets Chch family down

MICHAEL WRIGHT
Last updated 05:00 20/04/2011
 
A Christchurch family will return to a cold house next week.

Woolston builder Richard Johnstone lost his logburner in the September earthquake and is not certain a heat pump can be installed by winter.

His wife, Racheal, and sons Billy, 5, Stanley, 3, and Hugh, 1, have been staying with family in Southland and are due back on Monday.

Johnston applied in January for a heat pump to be installed under the priority winter heating scheme. He said he was passed between the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (Eeca) several times.

Frustrated by a lack of progress, he approached an EQC official at a public meeting on Monday and was told 4500 heat pumps had been installed. But Fletcher Construction, which is managing the emergency repairs programme, says it is targeting mid-May to complete the 4500 heating repair cases it has so far. Latest figures showed 4000 heating units had been ordered, installed or repaired, but Fletchers could not say how many jobs had been completed.

Johnstone decided to conduct an unofficial survey. He began contacting heat pump installers listed in the Yellow Pages, asking them how many units they had put in. Every company was forthcoming, he said, and by the halfway point the total count was between 400 and 500.The number did not fill Johnstone with confidence for his installation.

He has yet to have a rapid assessment of his house and is awaiting EQC payment for repairs he made to his property after the September quake. He said he was prepared to wait, but wanted a time frame.

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