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Round 2 Of Successful Energy Education Fund Now Open

Community organisations that can deliver energy education to households in need are being invited to apply for the second funding round of the Support for Energy Education in Communities (SEEC) Programme.

“In May, $1.26 million was allocated to nine community initiatives to help struggling New Zealanders make their homes warmer, more energy efficient, and get cheaper power bills. Households are already starting to see the benefits of those initiatives and I’m excited to see the momentum continue with this second funding round opening,” says Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods.

“As part of the last funding round an initiative by Habitat for Humanity – Northern Region, 60 homes on Great Barrier Island and Waiheke Island have received ‘Winter Warmer Packs’ in the last few weeks. These packs contain items such as blankets, energy-efficient heaters, draught stoppers and information packs. Another 390 packs are being delivered to low-income households in Auckland and Northland over the coming weeks.”

$1.65 million is available in this second round, which aims to help expand the network of organisations working to empower households to lower their bills.

“We know lots of people find it tough to keep on top of their power bills, especially at this time of the year. This fund means more people will receive free, personalised advice and information about how to make meaningful energy savings around the home, like making sure they’re on the best power plan or switching to more energy-efficient appliances. Even seemingly small changes can make a big difference”.

The SEEC Fund, can be used to prepare and deliver energy material, hold hui to share information and advice, and train educators to provide personalised advice in-home or over the phone.

Applicants to the SEEC Fund can also apply to the SEEC Equipment and Devices Fund, which can be used to purchase low-cost items to supplement their advice to households.

One of the key criteria for applicants is to have established relationships with the communities they’re trying to reach so they can successfully pilot new schemes or expand existing ones.

“This programme ultimately aims to support more households that are struggling with power bills. But in the process, we’re also gaining valuable insights that will inform the development of future government policies and programmes to alleviate energy hardship,” Megan Woods said.

In total, $7.91 million will be allocated through the SEEC Programme’s regular funding rounds until 2024.

This programme complements other initiatives across government, the community and private sector that focus on making homes warmer and more energy efficient. As well as the Winter Energy Payment to assist people with their power bills.

Applications for funding close at 5pm, Friday 30 July.

For more information on the SEEC Programme, eligibility criteria and application details, visit www.mbie.govt.nz/seec.

Media contact: Jo Leavesley 021 839 835 jo.leavesley@parliament.govt.nz

Note to editors

Successful round 1 recipients:

· ‘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.

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