The Rotorua Review has reported (15/07/2015) on the new Hot Swap scheme offered by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.Urban residents of Rotorua will now have more options available to help them pay for home insulation and heating. Qualifying residents will be able to install home insulation through the scheme via an interest bearing loan that can be paid back over 10 years on their property rates. The loan and rates remission will be offered until June 30, 2016.The scheme will also be used to assist home owners to replace old wood burners with a heat pump, flued gas, wood or pellet fire. Half of homes in Rotorua use fires as their main source of heating and many are past their life span which means less efficient heat and more pollution.Lyall Thurston, Rotorua regional councillor, said that smoke from coal or wood home heating contributes to Rotorua's poor air quality, the worst in the North Island. He says it also affects residents health, especially the young, elderly and asthma sufferers.The regional council is also providing funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) Warm Up New Zealand Healthy Homes Programme for another year.Additional subsidies have been provided for homeowners with low incomes who wish to insulate and upgrade old fires to low emission wood burners.Mr Thurston said this will help homeowners who sit just above the rates rebate income threshold improve their home insulation and heating. The cost will be put on their rates to pay off over the next 10 years.