Progress reporting

Initiatives that receive SEEC Programme funding are assessed to help understand the challenges and benefits of the schemes, and measure the support being delivered to communities.

The funding focus for Round 1 of the SEEC Programme was pilots that can be implemented to deliver results by winter 2021 and have the potential to scale. The $1.26 million of Round 1 SEEC funding went towards 9 projects.

The funding focus for Round 2 was on pilots that can be implemented to deliver results within the next 12 months and have the potential to scale. The $1.65 million of Round 2 SEEC funding went towards 15 projects.

Overall progress as at 20 March 2022 - rounds 1 and 2

  • 6,587 households reached
  • 67,632 low-cost energy-saving items delivered
  • 133 community events held
  • 4 projects completed – some key insights from these projects are below

The 20 remaining projects from the SEEC Programme rounds 1 and 2 are due to be substantially delivered by the end of 2022. An evaluation of all 24 projects will be completed.

The table below provides a full breakdown of what has been delivered as at 20 March 2022 across rounds 1 and 2.

Round 1 Round 2 Total
Total households reached 4,904 1,683 6,587
through events 738 229 967
through other means (e.g., a home visit, video calling, door knock, referral) 2,247 1,050 3,297
through an event or by other means (i.e., not specified) 1,919 451 2,370
Community / group events held 132 1 133
Energy education / assessments completed 2,469 1,008 3,477
Staff trained 69 43 112
Resources, educational material and tools developed 7 7 14
Total low-cost energy-saving items provided 42,476 25,158 67,632
LEDs 36,584 20,928 57,512
other equipment (e.g. low-flow showerheads, draught stoppers) 5,672 826 6,498

Impact of COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 has delayed the delivery of most projects, particularly those that centre on providing in-home assessments and education and running community events, which have been constrained by COVID-19 restrictions.

Round 1 projects experienced setbacks during the Delta outbreak in August 2021, which resulted in national COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions. After restrictions were lifted, people were hesitant to engage in home assessments and attend community events.

The ongoing impact on supply chains has resulted in some difficulties sourcing low-cost energy-saving
equipment such as sensors, LED lightbulbs and low-flow showerheads.

The Omicron outbreak since early 2022 has further impacted delivery due to staff and households having to isolate and restrictions around large gatherings under the ‘red’ setting.

MBIE has agreed to a number of extensions to deliver initiatives.

Despite challenging circumstances, 4 projects are now complete. These are:

  • Ecobulb with King Country Electric Power Trust: King Country Energy Hardship Reducing Pilot programme (round 1)
  • Habitat for Humanity – Northern Region: Healthy Homes Interventions including Winter Warmer Packs 2021 (round 1)
  • Te Pūtahi-nui-o-Rehua Charitable Trust: Te Hīhiko Ngāpuhi (round 1)
  • Ecobulb and Maru Trust: North King Country Energy Hardship Pilot (round 2)

Key insights from completed projects (as at 20 March 2022)

Building trust within communities and households can take time but is an important foundation to enable house visits.

Forming partnerships with community groups such as Māori community service providers and Pasifika churches have proven to be successful in reaching communities.

Most projects found success in completing a mixture of personalised assessments (both in home and through video calling) and community events/hui.

The following actions can each deliver significant average energy savings, ranging from $180 to $230 per year:

  • more efficient heat pump use through cleaning filters
  • installing LEDs
  • installing an efficient shower head and taking one-minute shorter showers
  • turning off second fridges, and
  • switching electricity plans to a lower-cost option.

Nearly half of recipients of one project had no source of heating before participating in the initiative.

Many of the whānau who participated in one of the initiatives lived in sub-standard housing such as tents and sheds. There is a need to take a broader, more holistic approach when engaging with vulnerable communities.

Last updated: 24 May 2022