Fifteen community projects delivering invaluable tips, tricks, and resources to reduce energy use and lower power bills have been granted funding in the second round of the Government’s SEEC Programme, Energy and Resources Minister, Megan Woods has announced.
“The Support for Energy Education in Communities Programme is already making a difference to households struggling to pay for their power by funding local advice services to teach people how to heat their homes efficiently, and reduce their electricity bills. It’s incredible how seemingly small changes can lead to meaningful savings and healthier homes.
“This is one of a number of actions to come out of the Electricity Price Review. It suggested we set up a fund to help households in energy hardship make their homes warmer, drier, and healthier. This second SEEC round will reach even more people in need.”
“One project in the King Country from the earlier SEEC Programme funding round is estimated to save each of the 1522 participating households an average of $552 from their annual power bill. That project has now been granted funding in this second round to extend the programme to another 1800 households.
“Many of the projects we’re funding focus on training staff to offer personalised energy assessments for households in need. These assessments, done during home visits, online or at community events, give handy advice on what can be done to improve energy efficiency in the home. Many also provide free energy-saving LED lightbulbs.
“The projects selected in the latest SEEC funding round show a variety of initiatives and will reach a wide range of people – including elderly, Māori, Pasifika, renters and people on a low-income. Many projects are also linking up with other organisations to help connect with harder-to-reach households or to offer an even broader range of support, like making referrals to curtain banks.
“I’m looking forward to seeing these 15 projects in action. There’s fantastic work happening out there in our communities, and the Government’s SEEC Programme is helping build that network of support for households who need it most,” Megan Woods said.
A total of $1.65 million has been committed for the 15 projects in round two.
Across the nine projects in round one, which were given about $1.26 million of government funding, more than 1,500 energy assessments and 37 community events took place, with more than 34,000 energy-saving items handed out. More than 2,000 homes have been visited to date, with more to come as round one initiatives continue to be delivered.
A further $5 million of funding through the SEEC Programme is available over the next two years, until 30 June 2024, with the third funding round expected in mid-2022.
The SEEC Programme was established after a recommendation from the 2019 Electricity Price Review. It is one of the government initiatives underway aimed at reducing energy hardship in our communities. For more information, visit www.mbie.govt.nz/seec.
SEEC Programme funding recipients – Round 2
‘Pacific-power’, Agape International Ministries
Running an energy mentoring service to provide information and advice to aiga/families in Pasifika communities in Auckland, Levin and Dunedin.
‘Love Your Home Part 2: 2021/2022’, Community Energy Action
Providing personalised energy advice through community workshops and in-home visits in Mid-Canterbury and the West Coast, and developing strategies to improve a home’s energy efficiency.
‘North King Country Energy Hardship Pilot’, Ecobulb Limited
Trained energy assessors meet with households to provide personalised energy advice, free energy-saving devices and helping households finding them the lowest-cost power plan.
‘Health and Energy Efficient Home Intervention programmes including Winter Warmer Pack delivery’, Habitat for Humanity – Northern Region
Expanding the delivery of the ‘Winter Warmer Packs’ programme, its curtain bank service and providing further home interventions and energy advice to low-income whānau across Northland, Greater Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf islands.
‘Matekuare Whānau Trust; Marae-based Energy Education Programme’, Ngāti Whare Housing Trust
Running energy education workshops and follow-up energy audits to individual households in Rotorua and Te Urewera. Energy-saving items are provided to households to help improve the energy-efficiency of their homes.
‘Energy Advice/Community Outreach Programme: lifting Northlanders out of energy hardship’
Working with trusted partners to deliver personalised electricity advice, practical help regarding electricity safety and installing low-cost energy-saving items through in-house visits, call centres and community hui in Northland.
‘Home Energy Assessment Tool kits for community providers supporting hard-to-reach households’, SEA – Sustainable Energy Advice Limited
Training trusted service providers to use the Home Energy Assessment Toolkit and supplying low-cost energy-saving equipment to households in need across the Wellington region.
‘Whānau Power – we are the whānau we serve’, SEED NZ
Installing sensors to assess the health of the homes, evaluating housing quality issues in relation to electricity use, and providing advice to whānau in Te Tairāwhiti and Ōtautahi through in-home visits, and wānanga in other regions.
‘Reducing Energy Poverty Amongst the Elderly in Auckland’, Sustain & Enable
Providing energy education and support measures to reduce energy costs and create warmer, more comfortable homes for elderly in Auckland.
‘He Whare Mahana – He Whānau Ora’, Sustainability Options
Providing energy-saving devices, and partnering with others to run community workshops on decreasing hot water energy costs in Bay of Plenty.
‘Increasing energy wellbeing through minor repairs and education Western Bay of Plenty’, Sustainability Options
Expanding the current 20 Degrees programme by increasing support to community providers and running in-home and community DIY workshops. Sustainability Options will provide advice and energy-saving devices and work with households to reduce their energy use.
‘Extending the Navigation approach through energy education and the supply of energy efficient products’, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu
Training Energy Champs to provide personalised energy advice and information through in-home visits and wānanga and supplying free LEDs to whānau in need across the South Island.
‘Providing tenants free Home Performance Assessments in Canterbury’, Tenants Protection Association
Training staff to become Home Assessment Advisors who can identify areas where tenants and landlords can improve a home’s energy performance.
‘Extending Vinnies Healthy Homes Program’, Vinnies Hamilton
Supporting vulnerable households across Waikato to receive affordable energy by providing free healthy home assessments, ensuring they are on an adequate power plan, and making referrals to curtain banks.
‘Warmer Homes and Illness Prevention Installation Team’, Waitara Initiatives Supporting Employment (WISE Charitable Trust)
Taking practical steps to help Taranaki whānau experiencing hardship make their homes warmer and drier, and providing energy advice through in-home visits and community workshops.