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Source: New Zealand Government

A new fund to enable renewable energy technologies to be trialled on Māori housing so whānau can save money on their power bills is open for applications, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Peeni Henare. 

“We’re looking to get a range of small-scale projects underway that focus on generating renewable energy at home. That could be installing solar panels, solar water heating and household batteries to lower the amount of power people have to buy,” Megan Woods said.

“By introducing a cheap energy source and smart ways to manage this energy, residents will see significant savings in their energy bills. Less financial pressure may encourage increased use of heating, leading to warmer homes and better health outcomes.

“We’re also open to new ways to effectively distribute this locally generated renewable energy, such as a peer-to-peer trading scheme that shares surplus energy among neighbours rather than sending it back to the grid,” said Megan Woods.

Half of the $28 million in the Renewable Energy Fund is available for projects on Māori housing and will be allocated through multiple funding rounds until 2024, and the Expressions of Interest process is now open.

The other half will go toward trialling innovative renewable energy solutions on public housing and will be allocated through a separate process.

“Expressions of Interest could be an initial idea or a detailed project plan,” Peeni Henare said.

“Healthy, secure and affordable housing is fundamental for whānau Māori to thrive. We want to hear from anyone who has a project proposal that focuses on installing renewable energy technologies for the benefit of Māori.

By submitting an Expression of Interest, applicants will be guided on providing any further information before being assessed against the funding criteria. This process also allows a pipeline of projects to be developed through funding rounds over four years.

There is up to $2 million of funding available in the first funding round which will be decided  in March next year, and up to $400,000 is available per project.

“Harnessing clean, cheap energy to reduce energy bills for Māori is at the heart of this new fund. But it’s also been designed to further support the government’s commitment to renewable energy and climate change goals,” Peeni Henare said.

Expressions of Interest need to be received by 5pm, 19 February, 2021.

For more information on the fund, including eligibility criteria and details on submitting an expression of interest, visit www.mbie.govt.nz/renewableenergyfund

MIL OSI