The latest funding round of the Support for Energy Education in Communities (SEEC) Programme is now open, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has announced.
The Ministry has been allocating funding through the SEEC Programme since 2021 to help deliver specialist energy advice to households struggling with their power bills.
“Up to $2.95 million is available through this funding round, the largest amount in a single funding round since the SEEC Programme began,” said MBIE’s Energy Use Policy Manager, Daniel Brown.
“So far, MBIE has funded 41 community-level projects that are empowering households experiencing energy hardship with specialist information and advice to improve the energy-efficiency in their homes. Some projects connect households with other services like curtain banks, and help them find a cheaper power plan.
“The funding is also used to provide small energy-saving items, such as timing sensors and draught stoppers that further help households save on costs.
“Some of the earlier projects to receive funding are saving households hundreds of dollars a year through small behaviour changes around the home. For example, efficient lighting solutions, getting rid of the second fridge, or switching to a cheaper power plan, can each save households around $200 a year.”
Earlier this year, MBIE released its first set of energy hardship statistics that found the proportions of households experiencing each of the 5 measures of energy hardship have decreased slightly over the last 10 years.
“However, these statistics also found households with Māori and Pacific peoples are more likely to experience energy hardship. So this funding round will look to support more projects that help Māori and Pacific households.”
“About 19,000 households have been reached since the Programme began, and we’re looking forward to reaching even more households through this latest funding round,” Mr Brown said.
Online workshops about the application process will be held on Tuesday 12 September and Wednesday 4 October. Details on how to register for the workshops and apply for funding are available on the SEEC Programme webpage.