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Auckland Council boosts access to energy coaching scheme to help reduce energy bills

A free energy coaching service that has helped vulnerable households save hundreds of dollars on their power bills will receive funding from Auckland Council to double its capacity across the region.

The grant of $30,000 is funded by the Long-term Plan Climate Fund and will provide EnergyMate with additional support for electricity consumers experiencing energy hardship.

Auckland Council’s Chair of the Planning, Environment and Parks Committee Councillor Richard Hills says this initiative will enable eligible Aucklanders to reduce their power bills and live in warmer, drier homes while reducing household emissions.

“It will help provide targeted support to high energy household users and those most in need, to help them understand where their power is being consumed and how consumption can be reduced, and savings made.”

EnergyMate employs specially trained community-based financial mentors to visit homes of eligible whānau and advise in areas like heating, lighting, hot water, shower flow, and efficient appliance use. Families are referred to the service directly from energy retailers and through community partners, Manukau Urban Māori Authority and Kootuitui ki Papakura in south Auckland and EcoMatters Environment Trust in west Auckland.

“We know the difference EnergyMate can make for households doing it tough and it’s great to have that recognised through support from Auckland Council,” says Electricity Retailers’ Association of New Zealand’s (ERANZ) Chief Executive Bridget Abernethy.

In addition to providing advice on energy efficiency, EnergyMate coaches also connect consumers with their power company to ensure they’re on the best plan and payment terms for their needs. They also help them understand their electricity bill and organise community workshops showing people how to get the most out of their power.

EnergyMate helps to keep bills affordable; 30 per cent of households made a positive change with their power company after a coaching visit and 67 per cent saw a reduction in their power bills.

The programme, an ERANZ-led initiative, is funded by electricity retailers, lines companies and government. It has been operating in Auckland since 2019.

The service is available in locations across New Zealand and has helped more than 2,500 households nationwide.

For more information visit www.energymate.nz

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