Government energy education programme helping Kiwis save money

The Government is keeping up the momentum on supporting community energy education initiatives with the opening of the third funding round of its successful Support for Energy Education in Communities (SEEC) Programme, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods says.

Community groups, organisations, and businesses can now apply for a total of $1.7 million of funding for delivery of more energy education and to provide low-cost energy saving devices to households in need wanting to bring down their power bills.

“The success of the first 24 SEEC initiatives is already making a huge difference to people who need a bit of extra support. From the first two funding rounds, more than 6500 households have received free energy education, and more than 67,000 low-cost energy-saving items like LEDs have been handed out.

“With the growing cost of living, and colder temperatures increasing energy needs, it’s all about giving immediate and practical support to households that are doing it tough. We know community-level support is a really effective way of doing this.

Small changes like turning off devices that aren’t being used, or switching to LED lightbulbs can add up to hundreds of dollars’ worth of savings a year,” Megan Woods said.

In May, five existing SEEC recipients were given the go-ahead to expand their existing initiatives over autumn and winter, bringing forward a total of $350,000 of funding.

“In Canterbury and Westland, Anglican Care, is doing great work, so I’m delighted it’s got help to expand on its important mahi. To date it has handed out 7367 LED lightbulbs and knocked on nearly 4000 doors in many high deprivation areas, providing advice on how to reduce energy costs.

“In the capital, Sustainability Trust has done a fantastic job sending out trained energy assessors to 144 homes in the region. The assessors provide personalised advice on energy behaviour adjustments around the home to help improve energy efficiency. And it doesn’t stop there. The assessors support households with free curtains, draught-proofing and other small installs. The Trust continues to work with households after the initial visit to ensure gains are maintained and the benefits continue from reduced power bills,” said Megan Woods.

Applications close 29 August, 2022.

Notes to Editors

A further $2.95 million of funding through the SEEC Programme will be available in 2023/24.

The SEEC Programme was established after a recommendation from the 2019 Electricity Price Review to build and expand a network of community-level support services. It is one of the government initiatives underway aimed at reducing energy hardship in our communities.

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