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Imbedded Generation & Efficiency Focus A Solution

Media Statement Thursday January 22, 2004

TrustPower Says Imbedded Generation and Efficiency Focus Could Prevent Future Power Price Increases

Electricity retailer and generator TrustPower says large power price increases beyond this year remain a possibility, unless New Zealand focuses on building new generation close to where power is consumed, and uses electricity more efficiently.

Chief Executive Keith Tempest says there is no point in spending huge amounts building transmission lines to transport power long distances, when there are alternatives that bring increased security of supply and reduce the amount of power being lost in transmission lines.

"More distributed generation, using renewable resources like wind, water and solar, built close to where power is used, has to be New Zealand's key focus. Otherwise, we run the risk of investing money in transmission when it should be used for more generating capacity. In an environment where consumers have to pay for increasing transmission costs on top of the electricity they use, it makes simple sense to build enough generation to keep ahead of demand, otherwise cost increases are inevitable."

Mr Tempest says New Zealand also needs to focus much more seriously on energy efficiency, to help limit the rate at which electricity demand grows, and ensure that the already delicate demand and supply balance is not eroded further.

"By world standards New Zealanders are not particularly efficient users of energy. While it might seem stupid for a company that sells electricity to be advocating that people use less of it, the reality is that if we are not as a nation prepared to pull together and make an effort to improve the way we do things, we should not be complaining about having to pay higher power bills. A combination of more efficient energy use and responsible use of local renewable resources for electricity generation has to be the best way to keep future power bills down."


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