April 2014

Cosy Homes flash mobThe very practical and enthusiastic Cosy Homes Flash Mob that I talked about in the February News is proving to be an incredible success.  In March they attacked a ‘problematic’ skillion roof, removed it, stuffed the ceiling space full of insulation and fitted a new (second hand) roof.  The family is now ready for winter.  Huge thanks to everyone who turned up to help, and especially Habitat for Humanity and Smart Energy Solutions.  In other Cosy Homes news, we have now established a governance group to connect, communicate, coordinate and educate others about the great work happening in the city regarding making Dunedin homes warm and cosy.  One of our first projects is in conjunction with EECA energywise’s Warm Up New Zealand programme which is offering FREE ceiling and underfloor insulation to Community Services Card holders who have children under 17, or older people over 65 or have a health issue relating to damp, cold homes (for example asthma or heart issues).  Government contracted insulation providers who can provide the insulation retrofits currently are: Right House Ltd (0800 744 569) OR Smart Energy Solutions (0800 888 766). If you are interested or know someone in Dunedin who might be eligible then contact them directly asking for the “Cosy Homes” insulation.

Thanks to everyone who sent us a letter of support for the Home Performance Advisor (HPA) funding we are seeking.  If we are successful our HPA’s will be able to provide a number of free Home Performance Assessments to homes throughout Dunedin, which will link directly into the Cosy Homes work.

The Blueskin Food System Assessment is now well underway.  Interviews, led by our contractors Ahika Consulting have begun, with local food producers and retailers, and we have held a couple of focus group events for community members who grow their own food (veges as well as livestock).  If you haven’t been contacted, but are keen to share your ideas, then contact us and we will invite you to join a focus group or we will visit and interview you.  We are exploring the state of our local food system as it stands today, and are gaining a better understanding of what is happening in people’s backyards and farms within the Blueskin area.  We are also trying to understand what are the positives and negatives associated with local food production and what changes, if any, could be made to the existing food system to better meet our community’s expectations.

Scott spent a few days in Wellington at the Wind Energy Conference: www.windenergy.org.nz/conference-2014 presenting information on the Wind Cluster project and BEL – see his update for more info.  Talking about energy –  we have spent the money from the Bendigo Foundation on solar panels for the roof of our office and last week a gorgeous flash new inverter from Enasolar (see photo) arrived on our doorstep. Thank you Enasolar!  Now we just need a tad more funding in order to pay the wonderful Pete Goodin to install everything… then our office will be solar powered – yay!