Government gives households extra help to reduce their power bills

Energy and Resources

Nine community energy education initiatives to help struggling New Zealanders with their power bills are being given government funding through the new Support for Energy Education in Communities (SEEC) Programme. 

“Last year we committed nearly $8 million over four years to establish the SEEC Programme. This funding will help expand the existing network of community organisations providing vital energy education to households in need, and ultimately get cheaper power bills’, The Minister of Energy and Resources Hon Dr Megan Woods says.

“Energy hardship is a pressing and complex problem, and in addition to reducing power bills this excellent initiative will help low income households across the country achieve warmer, more energy-efficient homes with programmes that do things like help with energy assessments, or give out energy saving equipment.”

One of the funding recipients – Habitat for Humanity – Northern Region – delivers essential winter items (Winter Warmer Packs) to low-income families. SEEC funding is enabling them to reach even more households in Greater Auckland and for the first time, in Northland and Great Barrier Island” said Megan Woods.

In total, $1.26 million was available in the first funding round and nine initiatives have been selected to receive between $60,000 and $200,000 each.

The recipients are:

  • ‘Anglican Care Energy Poverty Programme’, Anglican Care (Canterbury/Westland)
    Providing free in-home energy assessments and energy-efficient LED lightbulbs to households in high deprivation areas in Christchurch, Canterbury and Westland.

  • ‘Eastern Bay of Plenty 20 Degrees Energy Hardship Collaboration’, Sustainability Options Limited
    Expanding the existing 20 Degrees initiative into the Eastern Bay of Plenty, and providing energy education, monitoring and energy-saving initiatives to households.

  • ‘EnergyMate’, Electricity Retailers’ Association of New Zealand
    Providing free, personalised energy coaching and support through home visits and community hui. With the Government support, EnergyMate will expand its focus on households struggling with energy bills or keeping their homes warm in Māori and Pasifika communities across Aotearoa. ‘

  • Fair Energy’, Sustainability Trust
    Providing an energy efficiency and advice service to low-income households in the Wellington region, plus free energy-saving equipment and devices, monitoring and follow-up support.

  • ‘Healthy Home Interventions including Winter Warmer Pack Delivery’, Habitat for Humanity – Northern Region
    Delivering energy-efficiency programmes across the northern region and increasing delivery of Winter Warmer Packs to help low-income families in Greater Auckland and Northland.
  • ‘King Country Energy Hardship Reducing Pilot Programme’, Ecobulb with King Country Electric Power Trust
    Providing free Ecobulb LEDs and shower heads, and offering in-home energy assessments to improve home energy efficiency in the King Country.  

  • ‘Love Your Home 2021’, Community Energy Action Charitable Trust
    Providing in-home energy checks, home energy toolkits, community education and solutions to improve home energy efficiency in Mid-North Canterbury and the West Coast.

  • ‘Supporting Affordable adVice in Energy (SAVE)’, Sustainable Taranaki
    Engaging widely with regional wellbeing organisations to provide personalised energy education and support for changing habits, energy-saving devices; and expanding the number and capability of trained advisors.

  • Te Hīhiko Ngāpuhi’, Te Pūtahi-nui-o-Rehua Charitable Trust
    Enabling whānau
    around Kaikohe marae and surrounding communities to participate in hands-on activities as part of a marae collective energy audit, and apply lessons to their individual homes. Findings will be shared at the marae, and follow-up visits to individual whare will allow further strategies and solutions to be implemented.

A further $6.65 million is available through future funding rounds until 2024. The next round is expected to open in mid-2021.

The SEEC Programme is part of a suite of government initiatives based on the Electricity Price Review recommendations that aims to help lift people out of energy hardship.

See the Support for Energy Education in Communities Programme for more information.