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More information for consumers in the pipeline

More information for consumers in the pipeline

Appliance and equipment manufacturers and importers may soon be required to label more products with energy efficiency ratings under proposals from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

The proposals are part of a draft '2003-2005 Forward Programme' which is being circulated to the industry for comment. Labels on 18 new product categories, such as those made mandatory on refrigerators last year, are among options being considered to help meet the nationwide target of a 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2012. Another option is requiring these products to meet tougher Minimum Energy Performance Standards.

EECA Chief Executive Heather Staley says that this winter's power shortage was another reminder that New Zealand's demand for energy is exceeding supply. "Given the costs and the damage to the environment of adding new generation capacity from fossil fuels, managing energy use has to be part of the solution. Improving the energy efficiency of appliances and equipment has a big part to play in this.

"If appliances use energy more efficiently consumers get the benefits of the function of the appliance, whether it is heating, cooling or motion, while using less energy. This reduces the amount of energy we waste and can help avoid the need for more fossil fuel powered generation," Ms Staley said.

The 18 product categories tagged for regulation cover both domestic and commercial appliances and equipment. The list covers electric water heaters, gas water heaters, solar water heaters, dairy water heaters, commercial refrigeration, hot water cylinder wraps, distribution transformers, solid fuel heaters, gas space heaters, building insulation, windows, chargers for portable appliances, incandescent lights, dehumidifiers, motor rewinds, commercial lighting, electric ranges and two-stroke motors. It also includes ways to reduce standby losses from appliances.

Ms Staley says the draft is for preliminary consultation. "Submissions will be sought on detailed proposals as the programme develops and Cabinet must approve any changes. However, this is a chance for those in the industry who may be affected to have a say at an early and formative stage of the process."

Copies of the draft programme are available at or a hard copy can be obtained by phoning EECA on 04 470 2200. Ms Staley said EECA is working to improve energy choices.

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