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Energy strategy progress report pointless

Wednesday, 24th September 2008

Energy strategy progress report pointless

“The self-congratulation by the Minister of Energy today when releasing the initial six month progress report on the New Zealand Energy Strategy is pointless,” said Ralph Matthes, Executive Director of the Major Electricity Users’ Group (MEUG).

“Households and businesses that use power want reliable supply at prices that are as low cost as possible. In the 38 page review of the New Zealand Energy Strategy (NZES) and detailed 36 page addendum, there is not a single indicator on whether consumers are better off or not for the price they pay for their power and reliability of supply since the strategy came into place.

“The underlying problem is that the NZES launched on 11th October 2007 was a mishmash of ideas trying to solve climate change and ill-defined security risk issues. The NZES failed to focus on the basics of keeping pressure on prices and making sure consumers understood the trade-offs between price and different levels reliability or security. For that reason the progress report has little relevance to consumers.

“Rather than put pressure on electricity prices; the strategies in the NZES have more often added costs or re-distributed wealth around the economy. For example while the Minister is proud Parliament has passed the ETS legislation and the 10 year ban on new thermal generation, both of which were key policies in the NZES; the result is all consumers of power will be poorer.

“We don’t think the NZES launched last year or the progress report released today is much to celebrate’” concluded Mr Matthes.


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