Winter months really make you appreciate the value of warmer, more energy-efficient homes, especially with cooler temperatures generally translating to higher power bills.
Carl Geib, of Flatbush, Auckland, has used Westpac’s Warm Up loan to make his home more energy efficient.
“We’ve installed eight solar panels, which should supply most of our power needs, because we’re a relatively low power user, and we also have gas water, so that cuts down on the power a little bit,” he says.
Carl has done the sums and the move made sense.
“Based on our number crunching, it should reduce our electric bill on average by about $70-$75 a month, and with the Warm Up loan it’s only adding about $150 a month to our mortgage payments.”
Carl said the Westpac Warm Up loan would be paid off within the five year term but the savings on electricity would continue long after that. He said they had calculated it would be about a 10 to 15 year return on investment in total.
Carl says he and his wife had been looking at ways to improve their home, which they have been in for just over a year, and this seemed like an ideal option.
“We’d been looking at a couple of ways to spruce up the house,” he says. “It’s nice to be able to save on your electric bills, warm up the house a little bit better for cheaper, and be a bit greener if possible.”
Baillee Keehan in Christchurch decided she didn’t want to start the fireplace every morning anymore, so she has used the Westpac Warm Up loan to install a heat pump and heat transfer system.
“I work from home and during the mornings it was pretty cold,” she says. “So we had a heat pump put in that pretty much services the living room and kitchen, and the heat transfer takes heat from the fireplace and moves it around the house.”
Baillee says that while Warm Up may have involved a lot of paperwork, the result is great.
“It’s made things financially accessible,” she says. “The five-year term is pretty good, no interest so pretty happy about that, and the heat pump people were really friendly too. Now it’s just way more comfortable in the house.”
Both Baillee and Carl say they have thought of more ways they could use Westpac Warm Up in the future, with Baillee possibly putting another heat pump in the hallway, and Carl with a battery to capture any excess solar power.
“Even though we don’t have a battery yet, we opted to install what they call a hybrid inverter, which is a little bit more pricey but it basically can send any extra power that’s not being used by the house into a battery, because our hope is that maybe in five or six years, we pay off this loan, if (Westpac) are still offering it we may take out another loan and maybe put in a battery.”
*Westpac Warm Up is available for new or current Westpac Choices Home Loan customers. Westpac’s eligibility criteria and home loan lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Click through for more on Westpac Warm Up