24 January 2023

Initiative offers free energy for families of the newest New Zealanders

New research from New Zealand energy provider, Contact, has revealed the financial pressure parents-to-be are under when expecting a child, with the biggest concern noted by Kiwi parents being the anticipated increase in household bills.

That’s why Contact has launched ‘Fourth Trimester’, an initiative that gives Kiwi families expecting a baby from 1st February 2023 three months of free power.** The offer will see two million hours of free power gifted to families of the newest New Zealanders, aiming to alleviate some of the financial pressure placed on new parents so they can focus on bonding with their new addition.

Contact research revealed 91 per cent of Kiwi parents noticed an increase in their power bill after having a child. What’s more, nearly half (48 per cent) say the increase was significant. For nearly a third (27 per cent), power bills increased by at least 20 per cent after having children.

Contact’s CEO Mike Fuge says, “We believe home is the best place in the world – both our individual homes and our collective home of Aotearoa. Fourth Trimester is designed to ensure home is the best place for new families by taking the pressure off during a financially challenging period, enabling them to spend more time enjoying the newborn phase and less time thoughtful about bills.

“While we don’t expect Fourth Trimester to be a silver bullet for financial stress during the newborn phase, we do hope that families receiving the offer will have one less thing to think about when it comes to bills, giving them time to focus on getting to know their new addition,” adds Fuge.

Whānau Āwhina Plunket Chief Executive Fiona Kingsford says Contact’s Fourth Trimester offer will take a huge amount of pressure off Kiwi families at what can be a financially stressful time. 

“Adding a new member to the whānau is a special time but it’s also one of the biggest changes a family will go through. Most Kiwi families will be on a reduced income when welcoming a new member to the family, meaning covering basic expenses such as bills can be stressful. What’s more, raising a baby in New Zealand costs $9,100 a year or more, making finances one of the biggest challenges for new families.

“Contact’s Fourth Trimester initiative will have a significant impact on participating families. Removing the mental load of worrying about an upcoming bill, or deciding whether or not to put another load of washing on to save money will give new families freedom to focus on bonding with their new addition,” says Mrs Kingsford.

Contact’s research shows that most Kiwi parents (78 per cent) believe free power during the newborn phase would impact household finances, demonstrating the expected benefit of Fourth Trimester to families receiving the offer.

The survey also revealed that 81 per cent of Kiwi parents used appliances like the washer and dryer less, or at strategic times of the day, to save money on their power bill, highlighting the changes new parents are prepared to make to reduce costs.

*A nationally representative sample of New Zealand parents was surveyed by research agency Pureprofile in December 2022.

**Fourth Trimester is available for New Zealanders expecting babies from 1st February 2023 and will see 2 million hours of power gifted to families.

Find out more about Fourth Trimester conditions and how to apply here.



Issued on behalf of Contact by Special PR

Email:  sarah.prigg@specialgroup.co.nz
Phone:  027 2544 351


About Contact Energy

Contact Energy is one of New Zealand’s largest energy retailers and generators. It generated 8.4 terawatt hours of electricity from hydro, geothermal and gas last year and managed more than 550,000 customer connections. Its vision is to build a better New Zealand and play a leading role in the decarbonisation of the energy sector and wider economy.


About Whānau Āwhina Plunket

Pēpi, tamariki and whānau are at the heart of Whānau Āwhina Plunket. The charity is Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest health and wellbeing support service for tamariki – seeing 290,000 under-fives. About 80% of newborns are enrolled with Whānau Āwhina Plunket each year.