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Electricity hikes reaffirm role for gas power

Electricity price hikes reaffirm role for gas power.

Many energy consumers could have avoided record electricity price hikes this winter if more effort was made to encourage fuel switching to gas.

Low lake levels drove up wholesale prices for electricity by record levels for the June quarter, Statistics New Zealand reported last week.

The price to produce electricity rose 5.6 per cent in the three months of the quarter. Other electricity indexes rose by levels not seen since the 1980s.

“Business and residential energy consumers who displace electricity with direct use of gas can avoid these kinds of price hikes,”says Gas Association of New Zealand executive director Stephen Parker.

Mr Parker said using gas instead of electricity for home heating, heating hot water and cooking would greatly reduce overall electricity demand – and therefore prices. It would also significantly enhance New Zealand’s energy security, he said.

Research shows that piping gas directly into homes and businesses is also the most efficient use of the resource.

“Direct use of gas provides an affordable and stable supply of power. And there is plenty of gas in New Zealand, whereas we do seem to have regular shortages of electricity and fluctuating prices.”

ENDS

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