Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund
In August 2020, the Government established a new fund to trial renewable energy technologies on Māori and public housing. Funding has been allocated and the majority of installations are expected to be complete by the end of 2024. This initiative is part of a suite of government initiatives to improve energy affordability and create warm, healthy and energy efficient homes.
The $28 million Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund was established to trial small-scale renewable energy technologies.
Renewable energy solutions can lead to improved health outcomes for people in public and Māori housing. Through this fund, the government aimed to support renewable generation that consistently lowers energy bills and encourages greater use of heating, leading to warmer and healthier homes.
Some projects also provided:
- a more resilient power supply
- enhanced energy independence by enabling local communities to generate their own power
- opportunities to support Māori energy businesses
- learning opportunities for whānau about energy efficiency, use and costs
- less reliance on diesel generators, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The fund trialled new ways of generating energy and integrating it with existing electricity networks, while supporting the government’s commitment to renewable energy generation and its climate change goals.
Over time, this initiative will provide valuable insight into the operational, economic, environmental and wellbeing impacts of introducing renewable energy systems. This information will help inform future projects on a larger scale.
MBIE led the project and worked closely with Kāinga Ora, Te Puni Kōkiri, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
The $28 million funding pool was shared between projects for public housing and Māori housing. Approximately half of the funding is to support projects for public housing, and the other half for Māori housing projects.
In 2023, $2 million of funding from the $46 million Community Renewable Energy Fund was used to boost the final Māori Housing Renewable Energy funding round for large-scale renewable energy projects. These larger-scale projects met the objectives for the Community Renewable Energy Fund.
Renewable energy funding for public housing
Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities is the country’s largest public housing landlord, managing over 66,000 homes across New Zealand. In 2021, Kāinga Ora began carrying out trials with existing and new homes to understand more about delivering renewable energy technology and its benefits to customers. Kāinga Ora aims to install solar panels on 750 public homes by 2024.
Renewable energy funding for Māori housing
The funding was allocated to selected projects over 4 years through multiple funding rounds. The majority of projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2024.
Projects for this fund focused on installing renewable energy technologies for Māori housing and supplementary measures that improve energy efficiency and maximise the gains of generating renewable energy at a local level.
Read more about the Māori housing branch of this fund including eligibility criteria and projects that have received funding so far:
Renewable energy fund for community-based projects
In May 2022, the Government announced $16 million over 4 years to support small-scale community renewable energy projects. The following year, the fund was boosted by a further $30 million over 4 years. This new Community Renewable Energy Fund builds on the successful Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund, and aims to support renewable energy projects that help communities to access secure, renewable and more affordable energy.