Self-proclaimed House Doctor solutions could save homeowners thousands of dollars in energy and medical bills.
Nelson Lebo is an Eco-design advisor for the Palmerston North City Council. The House Doctor is frustrated with the state of New Zealand homes.
As an EDA Lebo diagnoses unwell buildings. He offers free advice on making existing homes warmer, healthier and more efficient through renovations and retrofits. “I’m a house detective, a house doctor prescribing solutions.”
With a PhD in science and sustainability education, the certified home-performance-advisor has diagnosed over 2000 homes and prescribed solutions aligning with family budget, lifestyle and type of house.
One client John Hornblow says “Nelson is so sensible and practical with so much technical knowledge and experience. His explanations were completely understandable.”
The better approach is not to amend existing homes but to design them more efficiently in the first place. Lebo says when he is invited to look over and review new house plans it is often too late for his recommendations – and by then too costly to be taken on board. He says that due to Covid uncertainties, the housing crisis, climate crisis, and rising costs, priorities don’t lie in designing efficient buildings. Instead they lie in simply getting them built as fast as possible. Lebo describes these factors as brewing a perfect storm against high-performance homes.
The House Doctor believes he could help more wanting to assist homeowners for free with a tiny service cost to individual ratepayers.
Lebo observed people quickly adapting and using technology to communicate during Covid-19. He saw this as an opportunity to change his business model and reach a wider market. Lebo would like to advise people remotely making his service free to those who need it.
“Organisations such as a District Health Board, an Iwi, a Council, a Social Service pay for the membership and then all of their members or residents get free access to it.” Lebo explains his green, low-cost business model which could reap massive benefits.
Adapted from Janine Rankin, House doctor is frustrated people are building their houses wrong an