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EnergyMate wins Outcomes category at Energy Excellence Awards

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Electricity Retailers’ Association of New Zealand’s commitment to tackling the drivers of energy hardship has resulted in a win for its initiative EnergyMate at this year’s national Energy Excellence Awards. The programme won the Outcomes Award, which celebrates the delivery of accessible and inclusive energy solutions.

The EnergyMate pilot programme is a free energy coaching service for households at risk of energy hardship. The programme, which launched in 2019, is about helping whānau get the most out of their electricity. For some, that’s a reduced power bill, for others, it’s a warmer, drier, healthier home.

The cross-sector initiative has been a true collaboration funded by electricity retailers, lines companies and the government, and delivered by ERANZ in partnership with community based financial mentoring services throughout Aotearoa.

"We are proud to accept this award on behalf of our members and the partners who enable us to deliver EnergyMate," says ERANZ Chief Executive Bridget Abernethy.

"We want all families to live in warm, dry, healthy homes with affordable energy costs. EnergyMate demonstrates the power that cross-sector initiatives have to improve outcomes for New Zealand consumers.

"EnergyMate is not about brand or winning new customers. It’s about delivering targeted energy support to whānau so they can achieve energy wellbeing."

Nearly 1500 households have been provided with energy education and assistance to date, with an independent evaluation finding that 90% of customers said they had a better understanding of energy use and efficiency after an EnergyMate visit.

During an in-home visit, EnergyMate coaches help families make the most of their electricity by:

Initiating dialogue between customers and their power company to ensure their plan best suits their needs; giving advice on affordable and efficient ways to heat the home; connecting households with other support services such as budgeting advice and curtain banks; and providing free LED lightbulbs for instant power savings.

"Energy hardship is an issue that requires comprehensive, targeted and systemic solutions," Ms Abernethy says. "ERANZ is committed to doing its part to help families in need. This is an industry-led solution that is delivering positive outcomes, helping to lift families out of energy hardship."

The pilot was funded by ERANZ members Contact, Genesis, Mercury, Meridian, Nova, Trustpower, Prime, Bosco, Frank, Globug, Simply Energy, MegaTel, Powershop, Wise Prepay, and Chargenet, as well as the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and lines companies Unison, Wellington Electricity, PowerCo, Electra, Vector and Top Energy. ERANZ would also like to acknowledge FinCap (a national network body of 200 financial mentoring services) and training partner Home Performance Advisor for their parts in delivering the programme.

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