Rotorua has the worst winter air quality of any airshed in the North Island. The air quality in Rotorua exceeds the safe and acceptable level set by the Ministry for the Environment.
The most vulnerable to the adverse health effects of our air pollution are the very young, the elderly and those who suffer from respiratory conditions such as asthma.
Approximately 228 tonnes of fine particulates are discharged annually into Rotorua's air. We need to reduce this by 60 tonnes to meet the safe and acceptable standards set by the Ministry for Environment.
The biggest source of Rotorua's urban air pollution (58%) is from solid-fuel burners for home heating - wood burners, multi burners and open fires.
What can you do?
Rotorua's air quality is a community problem and we all need to take action to help clean it up. There are several ways you can make a difference:
- Choose clean heating, such as heat pumps, pellet fires and low emission wood burners.
- Get firewood early.
More than 50 percent of Rotorua households source their firewood well before the winter months, making sure it is ready to burn.
Wood takes at least six months to dry, so whether you buy your firewood or collect it, the earlier you get your wood the longer it has to dry.
Dry firewood burns hotter than wet wood so provides more heat for your home. Burning dry wood also creates less pollution.
- See wood burning factsheet for ideas.
Insulate your home
Without insulation you will lose 42 percent of your heat through the ceiling, 24 percent though the walls and 10 percent through the floor. Underfloor insulation will also help stop moisture getting into your home.
If you get the design and insulation right for your house you won't need as much heating and you can think about installing a smaller more efficient heating system.
Subsidies are available to help with the cost of insulation. For more information, see WISE below.
If your house is within the Rotorua Airshed and you have a wood burner that was installed before September 2005, then the wood burner is deemed non-compliant and you will not be able to use that wood burner after 31 January 2020.
Chip heaters, coal ranges, marshall heaters, coal burners and multi-fuel burners are also being phased out. These types of burners cannot be used after 31 December 2018.
There are also new rules regarding installing a new wood burner in the Rotorua Airshed and installing a wood burner in a property that has had its previous burner removed at point of sale.
Heating Upgrade Incentives
We have two incentive schemes available to help people who currently have non-compliant home heating that needs replacing. See Hot Swap and Low Income Heating Grant Scheme below.