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Direct use of gas could slash NZ’s CO2 output

NEWS RELEASE July 8, 2008

Direct use of gas could slash NZ’s CO2 output

Using gas and LPG for water and space heating, instead of electricity, could cut New Zealand’s CO2 output by nearly two million tonnes pa.

The figures are based on the findings of a new study which was commissioned by the Gas and LPG Associations (GANZ and LPGA), and undertaken by the Centre for Advanced Engineering (CAENZ).

“The research shows that direct use of gas and LPG is one of the lowest CO2 emitting energy sources with which to heat our homes, heat our water and with which to cook,” said GANZ chairman, Craig Muirhead.

“It’s only bettered in CO2 terms by the latest heat pumps and by wood and pellet burners used for heating and fuelled by truly renewable sources.”

The research demonstrates that using gas and LPG instead of electricity for water and space heating in particular, could have a major impact on New Zealand’s total CO2 output.

“Industry projections indicate fuel switching to direct use of gas could cut CO2 emissions by 1.7 million tonnes pa[1] within a decade,” said LPGA executive director, Peter Gilbert.

The study compares the CO2, energy efficiency and cost impacts of gas/LPG appliances with alternatives in the residential, commercial and light industrial sectors. It provides a full energy chain analysis, not just a comparison of end use appliance efficiencies.

Gas Association executive director, Stephen Parker, said the gas and LPG industries have long maintained that New Zealand should make the best and most efficient use of all available energy resources.

“We need to think about the best fuel for the job rather than focus purely on electricity.

“For water heating and space heating, using gas instead of electricity is a very sensible solution that should be part of the overall energy policy mix.”

LPG Association president, Albert de Geest, says the CAENZ Report reinforces the case for greater use of gas and LPG.

“The report highlights quite clearly that direct use of gas and LPG is a strategic energy asset which we are definitely not using to full advantage.”

The report shows that using gas directly is also among the most cost-effective heating water heating and cooking energy sources.

And it offers significant energy efficiency, CO2 and cost advantages when used for steam production, commercial hot water and commercial HVAC systems.

Editors’ note:
A copy of the CAENZ report is available on and


[1] Based on CAENZ findings, replacing one petajoule of delivered electricity with the direct use of natural gas in the residential and light commercial sectors will save New Zealand 136,000 tonnes of CO2 pa. The per-petajoule CO2 saving of displacing electricity with LPG in those sectors is 129,000 tonnes pa. Over 10 years, industry modeling indicates the growth in the direct use of gas markets (natural gas and LPG) could equate to a 1.7 million tonnes pa reduction in CO2 pa.

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