Support for Energy Education in Communities Programme

The Support for Energy Education in Communities (SEEC) Programme is part of a suite of new government initiatives to lift people out of energy hardship. The second funding round is now open.

The SEEC Programme has been established to deliver community-level energy education to help households in need.

The Programme is part of a $17 million four-year package from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, announced in August 2020 to reduce energy hardship and strengthen the consumer voice. 

The SEEC Programme includes funding to build and expand the network of services to support people experiencing energy hardship achieve warmer, more energy-efficient homes and lower their energy bills.

Funding is available to eligible community-level groups, organisations or businesses, and will be allocated through a regular open process. The funding is to contribute to the provision of personalised, specialist advice and education to households in energy hardship, and purchasing low-cost energy-saving equipment and devices.

The SEEC Programme complements other initiatives across government, the community and private sector that focus on making homes warmer and more energy efficient. The SEEC Programme consists of the SEEC Fund and the associated SEEC Equipment and Devices Fund. Applicants for the second round of funding can apply for up to $200,000 across both funds.

SEEC Fund

The SEEC Fund is the Programme’s primary funding pool. Eligible groups, businesses and organisations can apply for funding from the SEEC Fund to expand the capacity of existing energy hardship initiatives, pilot a new scheme, or deliver related training. It is not intended to fund existing initiatives or cover start-up costs for the creation of new organisations.

Examples of initiatives that will be considered for the SEEC Fund are:

  • Preparing and delivering education material
  • Hui to provide advice and resources to groups
  • Training community-level advisors
  • Providing personalised advice in-home or over the phone.

SEEC Equipment and Devices Fund

The SEEC Equipment and Devices Fund is the secondary, subsequent funding pool that applicants for the SEEC Fund can also apply for. This fund is to help with the cost of low-cost items, such as LED lights, timing switches, and sensors that support energy efficiency advice provided to households experiencing energy hardship.

Applicants wishing to seek funding from the SEEC Equipment and Devices Fund must do so as part of their application to the SEEC Fund.

Applications seeking funding only from the SEEC Equipment and Devices Fund will not be considered.

A successful application to the SEEC Fund does not mean funding for the SEEC Equipment and Devices Fund will also be granted.

Funding for round 2

The second funding round closed on Friday 30 July.

Decisions on successful applications are expected to be made by the end of September 2021.

Up to $1.65 million is available across both funds in the second funding round for 2021/2022.

Eligibility

The SEEC Fund is open to organisations, groups and businesses who can work closely with households experiencing energy hardship or expand their services to do so. Applicants to the SEEC Fund can apply for funding from the SEEC Equipment and Devices Fund at the same time.

Eligible groups can include: community service providers, training organisations, social enterprises, iwi support services, NGOs, businesses, community groups and budget advisory bodies.

Unsuccessful applicants may re-apply in future funding rounds.

Eligibility criteria

There are 5 key eligibility criteria that must be met to apply for the SEEC Fund and SEEC Equipment and Devices Fund.

Applicants must be:

Trusted – able to provide credible, independent, electricity-specific advice and support services, ideally personalised to the household.

Connected – able to effectively reach eligible households, especially those that are hard to reach and unaware help is available.

Integrated – able to link with other relevant services and, where possible, leverage additional non-government funding.

Initiatives must be:

Targeted – focused on helping households in energy hardship, including renters and owner-occupiers, and involve the account holder where possible.

Measurable – able to be measured and monitored to show results.

Application process

Those wanting to apply for funding through the SEEC Programme must complete the SEEC Fund and SEEC Equipment and Devices Fund Application Form.

Support for Energy Education in Communities Programme: Application for funding [DOCX, 75 KB]

For further guidance on completing an application see:

Support for Energy Education in Communities: stakeholder factsheet [PDF, 227 KB]

Applications for the second funding round must be received by 5pm, Friday 30 July 2021.

Download and email your completed application form to us with ‘SEEC application’ in the subject header.

Email: energymarkets@mbie.govt.nz

Evaluation process

Funding for round 2 will focus on pilots that have potential to scale and can be substantially delivered within 12 months.

Priority will be given to initiatives that fill gaps in terms of location, type and who the initiative targets, thereby building on the set of initiatives funded in the first round.

A decision is expected in September 2021 with funding allocated soon after.

Successful round one recipients

A total of $1.26 million was allocated across both funds in the first funding round of 2020/2021.

Round 1 funding recipients - announced May 2021 [PDF, 630 KB]

Government’s media release announcing round 1 funding recipients(external link)

Following the second funding round, another $5 million will be available through further funding rounds until 2024.

More information

You can sign up to receive email updates about the SEEC Programme, next funding rounds, and other energy hardship initiatives, by emailing us with ‘energy hardship pānui’ in the subject header.

Email: energymarkets@mbie.govt.nz.

Read our latest Energy Hardship Update e-newsletter or sign up to receive future issues to stay up to date on the SEEC Programme and other energy hardship initiatives.

Energy Hardship Update e-newsletter

Related links and resources

MBIE is also working closely with other agencies and community housing providers to make energy more affordable for residents of Māori and Public housing.

Find out more about the Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund

Home Performance Advisor training programme

The Home Performance Advisor (HPA) training programme is aimed at improving the quality and effectiveness of home performance advice to New Zealanders. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) have funded the development of a new HPA online training course, Healthy homes: Making energy work for whānau, to train community-based workers in managing household energy for health and well-being.

This may be a useful training course for your initiative.

Healthy homes: Making energy work for whānau(external link) — Home Performance Advisor (HPA)

Potential data collection

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is interested in collecting data on the state of insulation in homes visited through the SEEC Programme. This would entail a simple visual inspection of the roof space from a step ladder (and not involving a detailed inspection ‘in’ the roof space) and a similar visual inspection of the underfloor (from an access point, and not involving entering the underfloor space). Neither inspections would involve entering the roof space or the underfloor cavity.

The data collected would be provided to EECA, and would support delivery of its Warmer Kiwi Homes programme. If you think you could assist EECA as part of your proposed SEEC initiative or any other initiative you are involved with, please email EECA with: contact details for your organisation and an estimate of the additional cost for this.

Email: applications@eeca.govt.nz

Please note: your decision to participate in data collection is independent of the application process, and will not contribute to the assessment of your SEEC application. 

Last updated: 03 August 2021