Pandemic inspires new energy efficiency scheme to lower electricity costs

The Government is hoping to help give power to the people by lowering energy costs.

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods is committing $17 million to lower energy bills for those doing it tough following the COVID-19 outbreak.

She says it will be injected into NGOs and create a fund for schemes to improve energy efficiency in homes.

It will also go towards developing a definition and indicators of energy poverty to get support to where it is needed most.

"This funding allows us to bring together leaders from community organisations, consumer advocates, industry participants and government agencies to ensure energy hardship initiatives are carefully coordinated to maximise their effectiveness," Woods said.

"Pilot programmes will be developed to improve the consistency and reach of assistance to people experiencing energy hardship. A nationwide network of organisations providing credible, independent, electricity-specific advice and support services for those in need, will be progressively built.

 "The electricity consumer advocacy council will give a much-needed voice to households and small businesses who struggle to make their voices heard and exert influence in the electricity sector."

She said the energy hardship group and electricity consumer advocacy council will be up and running later this year.

"We want all New Zealanders to be able to live in secure, healthy homes and that’s what these initiatives are all about."

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