Whānau Supported Through Industry-led Energy Coaching Programme
“This year EnergyMate has supported over 2,000 Kiwis struggling to pay their power bill or keep their home warm this year to make the most of their electricity,” Miranda Struthers, Accessible Energy Advocate at the Electricity Retailers’ Association says.
EnergyMate is a free in-home coaching service all about helping whānau at risk of energy hardship - for some, that’s a reduced power bill, for others, it’s a warmer, drier, healthier home.
“The Electricity Retailers’ Association has released an independent evaluation of EnergyMate, which shows the programme is making a positive difference for whānau experiencing energy hardship. 90 per cent of EnergyMate whānau felt they had a better understanding of energy use and efficiency.
“EnergyMate supports whānau to reduce their debt to retailers. Following an EnergyMate visit the average debt per bill fell by 65 per cent.
“The evaluation found that EnergyMate whanau are negotiating well-known drivers of energy hardship, including poor quality housing, low income, and security of tenure.
“The majority of EnergyMate whānau were living in poor quality houses with inefficient heaters which has a big impact on how much electricity they had to use to heat their homes. The evaluation found that 3 in 10 whānau had no efficient heating source such as a heatpump, and 6 in 10 whānau had draughts and holes in the house.
“Families also referred to financial difficulties or tenancy issues as key barriers to achieving a warm, dry home. Low income relative to household size prevents whānau from taking steps towards energy efficiency - both large investments like a heatpump, and small-scale changes such as swapping to a low flow shower head.
“EnergyMate is a great example of the electricity sector, communities, and Government working together to help those in need. We want all Kiwis to have a warm, dry home with affordable energy costs, and EnergyMate takes us closer to that goal,” Ms Struthers says.