Monday, February 08, 2010

A roaring success

One thing I have to give the government: their implementation of the Greens' home insulation policy looks to be a roaring success. The programme has almost achieved its annual target of insulating 27,500 homes in just six months. To put that in context, previous policies saw 57,000 homes retrofitted between 1996 and 2009; the government has done 50% of that number in only six months.

Which just goes to show what real funding can do. Previously, insulation grants had a tiny budget - about $5 million a year - and so they didn't achieve much. Now they've got real money - $85 million a year - and so they can make a real difference.

The worry is that National will decide to kill this tremendously successful policy as a cost-cutting measure. They're already worried about the scheme being too successful, and so limiting the number of houses providers can insulate; the worry is that they'll strangle the scheme rather than letting it build on its success.