Empower Energy 1. Intro

Empower Energy has launched its platform that enables the donation of power bill credits to be distributed to families experiencing energy hardship.

Empower Energy can now accept donations through its platform on its website. The charitable donations already received have gone directly to vulnerable families struggling with the cost of living, by paying a proportion of their power bill.

Empower Energy Chief Empowerment Officer, Michael Fitzgerald, is excited about the launch of the platform and the positive response it has received to date.

"We believe in the power of community and collective action. With the launch of our platform, we empower everyday kiwis to join us in the fight against energy hardship. Together, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of vulnerable families and create a brighter future for all,” says Fitzgerald.

Despite the energy hardship crisis, many energy retailers are yet to fully embrace the concept of facilitating donations through customer power bills. However, Empower Energy, supported by Orion and foundational sponsors Ara Ake and MainPower, is determined to address this pressing issue by enabling individuals to make a difference.

“We’ve been proud to support some of the initial development of Empower and I’d encourage others to jump onboard and consider being a platform partner,” says Orion Group chief executive Nigel Barbour.

Empower Energy has also experienced success in securing corporate donations of surplus solar credits.

“The donations we have received to date through corporates’ surplus solar serve as a testament to the growing recognition of the importance of addressing the pressing issue of energy hardship. We’re proud to demonstrate that the system works and that there are donors eager to support this cause,” says Fitzgerald.

In line with its mission to expand and enhance its impact, Empower Energy is actively seeking platform partnerships. These collaborations will contribute to the continued development of the distribution platform, allowing it to become automated, self-sustaining and capable of assisting a larger number of vulnerable families and individuals.

Ara Ake chief executive, Dr Cristiano Marantes, is thrilled by the progress being made by Empower Energy and would encourage the sector to engage and participate.

“As part of our transition to a low-emissions energy future, we need to ensure that no one gets left behind. Empower Energy’s donation platform puts vulnerable customers experiencing energy hardship at the forefront of this transition, and we’re proud to be supporting this mahi,” says Dr Marantes.

Empower Energy has partnered with FinCap, to receive support and guidance to identify recipients for the energy bill credits. Empower Energy has worked with several financial mentoring services to pilot the programme, with a view to expansion.

“Financial mentors have the trust of the recipient families, they understand their financial situations and can help them navigate their financial issues. They are experts are at the coal face of energy hardship, so they’re the best-suited people to identify those families needing power bill credits, and how much would be meaningful for their unique situations,” says FinCap chief executive Ruth Smithers.

To learn more about Empower Energy and how to contribute to their efforts, please visit www.empowerenergy.org.nz