Network Waitaki continues support for energy coaching scheme

Network Waitaki continues support for energy coaching scheme

Access to a free energy coaching service that helps whānau cut the price of their power bills and heat their homes more efficiently will continue in North Otago, thanks to ongoing support from electricity retailers and local lines company Network Waitaki.

Network Waitaki has extended its backing for the award-winning EnergyMate programme for another year, providing valuable support for families experiencing energy hardship.

EnergyMate involves specially trained local energy coaches visiting the homes of eligible whānau to advise where savings can be made in areas like heating, lighting, hot water, shower flow, and efficient appliance use.

The programme is an ERANZ-led initiative funded by electricity retailers, lines companies and government, and is delivered in North Otago by Presbyterian Support Otago.

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

Network Waitaki’s Customer Service Coordinator Amy Francis said the Oamaru-based company began supporting EnergyMate in North Otago last year and was delighted with the results.

“We recognise that there are a number of households in our community that are at risk of energy hardship and appreciate the fantastic work that the EnergyMate coaches are doing to mitigate this. It’s our pleasure to support the programme for another year, as the team continues educating and supporting the Waitaki community, helping them to have warmer, safer and more energy efficient homes.”

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 whānau understand their electricity bill and organise community workshops showing people how to get the most out of their power.

Presbyterian Support Otago Family Works Director, Carmen Batchelor, was pleased at Network Waitaki's renewed support, saying it allowed EnergyMate coaches to continue providing a very valuable service.

“We know how stressful it can be for people to find the money for their energy bills, particularly in the winter months and increasingly throughout the year too,” Mrs Batchelor said.

“It is not uncommon for our energy coaches to visit clients and find they are living in very cold homes and fear an unaffordable power bill and will only light fires when they feel it is really cold. Our coaches can provide advice and find suitable solutions so that people can live comfortably without having to face high power charges.”

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

Since it began in 2019, EnergyMate has helped more than 2,500 households in locations across New Zealand. For more information visit www.energymate.nz

 


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