Daisy Tenahu, Jessica Kupa

 A free service aimed at helping whānau cut their power bills and heat their homes more efficiently is now available in Hawke’s Bay.

Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust (a post Treaty Settlement entity) is delivering the EnergyMate service in partnership with the Electricity Retailers’ Association (ERANZ), other electricity retailers, lines companies and the government. 

Six trained Energymate coaches, who are also trained Financial Mentors for Ngāti Pāhauwera, have so far visited 30 homes in Hawke’s Bay and have a contract for 100 more homes in Napier, Hastings and Flaxmere.

The coaches advise where savings can be made in areas like heating, lighting and hot water, and also connect consumers with their power company to make sure they’re on the best plan for their needs.

“I love it that we are empowering our people,” says EnergyMate coach Daisy Tenahu. “But it can only work if they are prepared to do the mahi too.”

Daisy says for some people it is simply teaching them things like how much to fill up the jug for a cup of tea, instead of wasting hot water and power. “In lots of homes we’ve visited, the TV and the computer are on even when they are not in use. We say turn it off and conserve energy.”

Coordinator for EnergyMate and Ngāti Pāhauwera’s Budgeting Services Tania Huata-Kupa  says whānau referred to the power-saving service are very thankful.

“Clients have a lot more understanding of how they use their power and have been impressed by the results after a consultation with our coaches.” 

Energymate is led by ERANZ  and is now available in 18 locations nationwide.

“EnergyMate is all about local coaches helping deliver better energy outcomes in their community, that’s why we’re delighted to work with Ngāti Pahauwera in Hawke’s Bay,” says ERANZ chief executive Bridget Abernethy.

“We want all whānau to live in warm, dry homes with affordable energy costs,” 

Unison Networks, which backed the first EnergyMate pilot in Rotorua in 2019, is supporting the Hawke’s Bay roll out.

“We see our involvement in this programme as a great way to support families to make their homes warmer and healthier,” says Unison General Manager Commercial, Jason Larkin. 

“Through its simple tips, EnergyMate helps these families achieve a more energy efficient home, while ensuring they are on the best pricing plan and connecting them with other services, such as budgeting support or home insulation.”

For more details, as well as tips on saving electricity and how to read your power bill, go to www.energymate.nz

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air


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