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Winterpower Taskforce Role Ends

WINTER POWER TASKFORCE

For Immediate release
10 July 2003


Taskforce Role Ends

The Winterpower Taskforce’s role has ended.

“We recommended to the Grid Security Committee (GSC) on Wednesday that the Taskforce be disbanded, and they accepted that,” said Taskforce head Patrick Strange.

The Winterpower Taskforce was formed in late March by the GSC, an industry group of electricity companies and customer representatives, to coordinate the response to the potential for electricity shortages this winter.

“Thanks to power savings, timely rain and improved thermal fuel stocks, the possibility of shortages this winter is now small,” said Dr. Strange. “The storage lakes are closer to normal levels, and the weather outlook is for average rain for the next couple of months.”

He acknowledged that the industry faced challenges for the next few years to cope with the Maui gas rundown and the increasing demand nationwide, but stressed that the Taskforce’s role was to address the potential for shortages that arose this winter following the severe autumn drought.

He praised the community’s response to the Target 10% savings campaign.

“The level of support we got from businesses and residents nationwide was very gratifying,” said Dr. Strange. “It surprised even the Taskforce.”

He expressed confidence consumers would continue to heed the call for prudence.

“Businesses and householders realise that they can use some of the measures they adopted to reduce their ongoing power bills with little or no inconvenience. While the Taskforce’s concern was solely with this winter, I think everyone is aware that, with increasing demand and the rundown of the Maui gas field, the industry faces challenges in the next year or two.”

ENDS

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