New Programme Provides Help to Vulnerable Households
A free in-home energy coaching service was launched in June to help struggling Kiwi families at highest risk of energy hardship. The government, electricity retailers, lines companies and community organisations will work together to provide the service aimed at reducing at-risk families’ energy costs and increasing warmth.
Electricity Management Tips for Vulnerable Kiwi Families
New Zealand’s electricity costs are relatively cheap compared to the rest of the world. Even so, poor housing and a lack of insulation create expensive bills for some families each winter.
This collaborative, multi-agency effort provides basic energy literacy and support to help Kiwi families better manage their electricity use. Vulnerable families will be assisted with obtaining the best electricity plan and educated on tips to increase their home’s energy efficiency. An electricity plan change can amount to hundreds of dollars of savings each year for some New Zealand families.
Families’ heating options will also be reviewed to see if a more affordable heating source is available. Families will also be introduced to other available community resources that can assist with further energy cost-savings measures.
In-Home Visits Provide Personalised Financial Support
Community-based trained financial mentors through Porirua Whanau Centre, Manukau Urban Maori Authority, and Family Focus Rotorua will provide in-home support to participating families.
These “EnergyMate Coaches” will help connect the family with their energy retailer and ensure they’re on the best plan for their household’s usage. Energy literacy support will be provided and payment and debt issues will be resolved with the energy retailer.
An easy to follow, practical action plan will be delivered to help families improve their energy efficiency and improve their comfort levels – without paying more on energy costs.
Other services including insulation and budgeting support will be reviewed with each family.
To begin, community-based financial mentors will pilot the program in 150 households in Rotorua, Porirua and South Auckland.
How to Obtain an EnergyMate Coach
To become a part of the EnergyMate pilot program, whanau can be referred to the programme via the Ministry of Healthy Homes Initiative, their electricity provider or the local budgeting provider (the EnergyMate delivery partner).
Energy Cost Savings Education
The innovative EnergyMate programme aims to create warm, dry homes with affordable energy costs for all Kiwis. Switchme, an energy switching company, has a similar goal!
Use our free, online comparison calculator to see if you’re currently getting the best rate on your energy costs. Contact us today for more details!