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.
24 projects have received SEEC Programme funding across Rounds 1 and 2. In May 2022, 5 projects were granted a ‘funding boost’ to expand or restart their projects to deliver further energy education and support through autumn and winter 2022. As at 28 October 2022, 12 projects have been completed.
Overall progress as at 28 October 2022 - rounds 1 and 2
- 13,054 households reached
- 103,933 low-cost energy-saving items delivered
- 440 community events held
- 12 projects completed – some key insights from these projects are below
11 of the remaining 12 projects from the SEEC Programme rounds 1 and 2 are due to be substantially delivered by the end of 2022. One will not be completed as the provider, Tenants Protection Association, has ceased operating. An evaluation of all 24 projects will begin in 2023.
The table below provides a full breakdown of what has been delivered as at 28 October 2022 across rounds 1 and 2 and those extended through the Funding Boost.
|Round 1||Round 2||Funding boost||Total|
|Total households reached||6,440||4,455||2,195||13,054|
|through other means (e.g., a home visit, video call, door knock, referral)||
|through an event or by other means (i.e., not specified)||1888||
|Community / group events held||420
|Energy education / assessments completed||2,923
|Resources, educational material and tools developed||10
|Total low-cost energy-saving items provided||47,656
|other equipment (e.g. low-flow showerheads, draught stoppers)||6527
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.
Some providers were able to adapt and deliver faster results than others by accelerating the pace of delivery or switching in-person home visits to assessments over a video call.
While COVID-19 restrictions are no longer in place, some households are still hesitant to have assessors in their home. In addition, sickness and illness in both staff and target households has led to home assessments and hui to be postponed or cancelled, delaying overall delivery.
A number of providers have extended the timeline to complete their project.
Supply chain issues that caused difficulties in 2021 and early 2022 in sourcing low-cost energy saving equipment appear to have eased.
12 of the 24 projects are now complete. These are:
- Anglican Care: Anglican Care Energy Poverty Programme (Funding Boost)
- Community Energy Action: Love your Home
- Ecobulb: King Country Energy Hardship Reducing Pilot programme (Funding Boost)
- Habitat for Humanity – Northern Region: Winter Warmer Packs 2021
- Sustainability Trust: Fair Energy
- Taranaki Environmental Education Trust: SAVE – Supporting Affordable adVice in Energy
- Te Pūtahi-nui-o-Rehua Charitable Trust: Te Hīhiko Ngāpuhi
- Ecobulb and Maru Trust: North King Country Energy Hardship Pilot (Funding Boost)
- Habitat for Humanity: Healthy and Energy Efficient Home Intervention programmes including Winter Warmer Pack Delivery (Funding Boost)
- Ngāti Whare Housing Trust Board: Matekuare Whānau Trust: Marae Based Energy Education Programme
- Northpower: Energy Advice/Community Outreach Programme: lifting Northlanders out of energy hardship (Funding Boost)
- Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu – PUNA: Extending the Navigation approach through energy education and the supply of energy efficient products
Key insights from completed projects (as at 28 October 2022)
Early findings indicate the SEEC Programme has enabled organisations to deliver a range of pilots across the country, testing and developing them along the way. The funding approach has also allowed providers to adapt and adjust the way they deliver their projects.
Preliminary analysis identifies three key features that have led to projects successfully increasing the energy wellbeing of households.
Reaching communities that are over-represented in energy hardship
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.
Projects that draw on tikanga Māori principles have been effective in reaching Māori.
Marae-based initiatives and community events/hui have proved successful in
reaching a large number of households in a targeted community.
Designing and planning in way that enables flexible delivery
Most projects have found success in completing a mixture of personalised assessments (both in-home and through video calls) and community events/hui.
Providing free equipment such as blankets and heaters is an effective way to complement home education and increases the level of engagement of households.
Information and actions to support the advice are simple to understand and easy to do.
Providers have utilised remote assessments (for example, video calls) to manage the impact of COVID-19 on the ability to have face-to-face engagement with households.
Implementing actions that lead to energy savings for households
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.
Small additions to the home such as curtains, draught stoppers, and appropriate seals also result in significant decreases in a household’s power bill and increase the ability of a home to retain heat.
Undertaking simple repairs, identifying water leaks and eliminating mould have also proven to significantly increase the energy wellbeing of those in the home.
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.