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Households Drive Energy Demand

24 January 2006

Households Drive Energy Demand

In 2003, households required over one quarter of New Zealand’s total energy demand. This makes them the single largest energy consumer, according to Energy, Economy and Emissions: 1997 to 2003, released by Statistics New Zealand today. Energy, Economy and Emissions: 1997 to 2003 reviews energy demand and related emission production by households, government and industry.

During this period, New Zealand’s demand for energy (total final consumer demand) increased to its highest-ever level, 15 percent above the 1997 level. Carbon dioxide emissions, usually a by-product of burning fossil fuels, increased by 21 percent. For the same period, New Zealand’s economy grew by 19 percent.

These results suggest the economy’s growth is now less reliant on energy products. However, New Zealand continues to rely on non-renewable fossil fuels, at 70 percent of total energy demand. Households were a significant contributor to the sharp rises in both the demand for fossil fuels and carbon dioxide emissions.

Most of the energy consumed by households is in the form of petrol used in private motor vehicles. This resulted in households producing over three-quarters of New Zealand’s carbon monoxide, and 60 percent of non-methane volatile organic compound emissions, both of which are linked to respiratory health risks.

However, New Zealand’s location means recorded levels of these gases are usually below world standards, except for calm days in selected cities. Of other large energy users, the basic metals, and the transport and storage industries recorded decreases in both energy and emission intensities, while the mining and fishing industries recorded increases in both measures. @

According to the Ministry of Economic Development’s Energy Data File for the period 2003 to 2005, New Zealand’s total final consumer energy demand has decreased by 3 percent, due to significant reductions in direct sales of natural gas. The Energy, Economy and Emissions: 1997 to 2003 report and associated tables are available on the Statistics New Zealand website.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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