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Labour suggests people have shorter showers to cut costs

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The Government is giving people tips about how they can warm their houses and save money this winter. Times file photo Wayne Martin

The Labour Government is rolling out a public information campaign aimed at encouraging Kiwis to take action to keep their homes warm and dry with lower power bills this winter.

It’s called ‘Find Money in Weird Places’ and was launched on May 24 by Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods.

As soon as the campaign was launched it was criticised as being out of touch, coming the same day the Reserve Bank raised the official cash rate, which will lead to higher interest rates and more families struggling to pay their mortgage.

The campaign is in partnership between the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s Warmer Kiwi Homes initiative and Consumer NZ with support from the Electricity Authority.

It highlights how New Zealanders can save up to $500 on their annual power bills with five free tips.

“There is an immediate need to support Kiwi families with information on energy saving,” Woods says.

“These ideas aren’t new, but they are meaningful to families. Small steps can add up to savings that make a real difference.”

The campaign includes cost-saving tips such as checking your power plan is most suited to your needs, operating your heat pump efficiently, shortening your showers, changing your washing machine settings to a cold wash, and switching off your appliances when you’re not using them.

The tips will be promoted on TV, at bus stops and shopping centres, on social media and in print during winter.

A brochure with supporting tips will be delivered to about 500,000 households that receive the Winter Energy Payment.

And a 16-page booklet with additional energy-saving information will also be distributed in seven languages.

As soon as the campaign was announced it came under fire from people including Botany MP and National Party leader Christopher Luxon, who took to Facebook to criticise the campaign.

“On the same day interest rates get hiked to fight [Finance Minister] Grant Robertson’s out of control spending, the Government’s advice to beat the cost of living crisis is shorter showers and putting the washing machine on cold,” Luxon said.

“This is outrageous. Labour will lecture Kiwis to take shorter showers but won’t rein in their own inflationary spending.”

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown added to the criticism, writing on social media: “Grant Robertson has been wasting your money and spending up large putting pressure on inflation and interest rates.

“He now wants you to have shorter showers and a heat pump hiatus to cope with the inflation he caused. Unbelievable.”

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