2 June 2023

Thirteen degrees and climbing

Family Works helping local people through winter with EnergyMate

Sitting in her lounge on a cold winter day, Linda should have been warm and cosy, but she wasn’t. Instead, she was sat in her favourite room surrounded by special mementos and family photos with the temperature at a mere 13°C!

According to the World Health Organisation, the optimal inside temperature for older people should be 20°C so it was little wonder that Linda was feeling the cold.

Scared of an unaffordable electricity bill, and with only a pension to live on (with a mortgage), Linda didn’t turn on her heaters and with limited firewood, would only light her fire when it got really cold.

“Electricity is so expensive, and I’m frightened I’ll end up with a bill that I can’t afford,” says Linda.

Recognising she was in real need of assistance, Katrina Kelly, one of our Financial Mentors and EnergyMate coaches, reached out to Linda, providing practical advice and suggestions.

“When I visited Linda, we were initially sitting in her cold lounge with the temperature at just 13°C. She lit the fire and the temperature climbed to 17°C.”

Katrina mused with Linda that it was a pity she didn’t have a fan so that the heat could be pushed around the house.

“I have one, but I don’t want to turn it on as I don’t know how much electricity it uses,” replied Linda.

Katrina set about researching the cost of running a fan and soon discovered that it wouldn’t be as expensive as Linda feared.

“I suggested to Linda that she turn on the fan to see what a difference it could make. The temperature very quickly jumped to somewhere between 19°C and 20°C – a huge difference!”
Katrina left Linda with a temperature gauge for the weekend so she could monitor the temperature in her bedroom.

“When I came back on Monday, Linda was astounded how much difference the fan made to keeping her whole house warm and cosy. As an EnergyMate Coach, I was able to help Linda sort out her heating arrangements, making her home warmer and more comfortable. I was also able to help with her budget, so the visit proved to be incredibly beneficial for her.”

* Name and image changed for privacy reasons. Image: stock photo.

EnergyMate and Consumer Electricity Fund

EnergyMate is a free in-home energy service where coaches help people create a power plan that best suits their needs, and give advice on heating their home in the cheapest way. EnergyMate is available in Dunedin, Oamaru and Central Otago. Of those people who had an EnergyMate coach visit, 91% reported that they have made an improvement to save power!

The Consumer Electricity Fund is also available for those who live in Dunedin and meet the criteria.

For more information call us on freephone 0508 396 678, or visit our website

Winter People 2023

Download a PDF of our People Magazine - 4MB