Energy Use and Energy Conservation

From the sun to the fund to … your project?

With money raised from Aotearoa’s FIRST community-owned solar farm, Energise Ōtaki wants to help you …to help energise Ōtaki.

The Whakahiko Ōtaki–Energise Ōtaki Fund is a new grant to boost community-initiated ‘energy’ projects. Funded projects will help Ōtaki thrive: by supporting our people; reducing our climate emissions and energy consumption; turning ‘waste’ into energy; sparking energy-related action and awareness – any and all of these.

We are not just talking tech’. We are looking for fun, creative, educational projects; electric, practical and science-sourced ones too.

Does the brief sound broad? It is! Convince us that your great idea will help energise Ōtaki.
Winning projects will then be showcased online to Ōtaki at large, and the public will decide which one gets an extra boost of $2,000.

Who decides? 

Application choices will be made by a committee made up of Leigh Ramsey and Dave Rumsey of Energise Ōtaki, Tanira Cooper of Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki, KCDC Councillor James Cootes and Honiara Irwin-Easthope from Wellington Community Trust.


The committee is guided by principles we’re grateful to Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki for sharing, including whanaungatanga (reminding us that working together helps make the best projects possible) mohiotanga (freely and openly sharing information and knowledge) and kaitiakitanga (supporting people and place). A full list of these principles and how they relate to the fund is here. Please refer to these in your application.

How many can win?

With a pool of around $23,000 to share, the committee hasn’t set a limit on the number of winning projects.

Application process

The 2023 funding round is not yet open, and will be announced later in the year.

Can we help? Please connect if you have questions.

Free workshop for people applying

There will be a free workshop  for anyone wanting to further develop their ideas before applying.

More details on project criteria are here, and our guiding principles here.

Email your application to or drop in to the Energise Ōtaki office, open Tuesdays – Thursday from 10am to 2pm. 

Who can apply?

Local schools, organisations and businesses and ANYONE living in Ōtaki or Te Horo.

People living elsewhere can also apply, if their project directly benefits Ōtaki and/or Te Horo. Applications can be to kick-start, new ideas or to support existing projects.




Current and Completed Projects

  • Warm Up Ōtaki: heat, health

    Warm Up Ōtaki: heat, health

    Providing insulation, heat pumps, good advice and more for 100+ Ōtaki homes this winter.
    Learn more
  • Ōtaki Repair Café

    Ōtaki Repair Café

    Since 2019, Energise Ōtaki has run highly successful Repair Café events, aimed at re-creating a culture of repairing items with the help of knowledgeable volunteers. We encourage the attendees to become involved in the repairs, so they'll learn skills to use again.
    Learn more
  • Ōtaki Curtain Bank

    Ōtaki Curtain Bank

    Energise Ōtaki runs the Ōtaki Curtain Bank, providing curtains to locals to help keep their homes warm. This project is a collaboration between Energise Ōtaki, the Ōtaki Citizen's Advice Bureau and the Sustainability Trust.
    Learn more
  • Insulation for Homes

    Insulation for Homes

    From time to time the government has provided funding to assist in the insulation of homes which Energise Ōtaki has helped to promote. Development of the Solar Farm Community Investment Fund will enable us to work more actively in this area.
    Learn more
  • KCDC LED Streetlighting

    KCDC LED Streetlighting

    Kāpiti Coast District Council has an on-going street lighting programme and is converting the streetlights in the district to LED technology, which promises to cut energy use of street lighting by well over 60%.
    Learn more
  • Little Greenie

    Little Greenie

    The 2013 Little Greenie project involved constructing a demonstration home that is healthier, more sustainable and more energy efficient and teaching young trainee builders Little Greenie design principles.
    Learn more
  • Enviro 9000 battery-electric refuse truck

    Enviro 9000 battery-electric refuse truck

    A battery-electric powered rubbish collection truck can now be found operating on Otaki's streets.
    Learn more

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    7 Main St, Ōtaki
    Tue-Thu, 10am-2pm