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'Helps us a lot in the long run' - Renter says EnergyMate programme will help him lower winter power bill

A scheme to help low income families save on their power bills and heat their homes more efficiently is being rolled out across the country. 

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More than a third of the families involved in the pilot scheme struggled to pay their power bills. Source: 1 NEWS

A trial of the programme - EnergyMate - on 150 families in South Auckland, Rotorua and Porirua last year found more than a third were struggling to pay their power bills. 

New Zealand's cold damp homes are part of the problem. Thirty-nine per cent of homes in the pilot scheme had mould, 35 per cent had poor insulation and 50 per cent used inefficient heating. 

The home of South Dunedin renter Tuatai Piniata got the once over from the programme and he told 1 NEWS his power bill may be $200 or less in winter. 

"It used to be around $400 to $600 a month," he said.

He said the programme would save more money and his pocket. 

"I found that it helps us a lot in the long run, in our budget."

EnergyMate is expanding to 1500 families nationwide. “It costs $700,000 and is funded by the Government, electricity retailers, and lines companies.”