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Major Market For Energy Efficient Appliances

Major Market For Energy Efficient Appliances

The latest annual survey of how New Zealanders will cut personal greenhouse gas emissions reveals there is a major market opportunity for those promoting energy efficient appliances.

The ShapeNZ survey of 4076 New Zealanders in September also shows 31% of households will be looking to buy products certified as environmentally friendly during the next year.

Commissioned by the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development, the surveys finds some 67% of households accommodating extended families, and 62% of single parent households with one or two children, say they'll go shopping for energy efficient appliances in the next year.

The 31% of potential "green label" buyers are spread evenly across nearly all household income and household occupancy types. The highest intention, 35%, is found in households earning between $30,001 and $50,000 a year, and between $101,000 and $150,000 a year.

Energy efficient light bulbs:

Large numbers of New Zealanders, 57%, also intend buying energy efficient light bulbs, despite extensive recent coverage on alleged problems with some types. Purchases made between 2007 and 2008, or concerns over quality, may be responsible for intentions related to these products going down from 63% in the 2007 survey.

Kiwis are also say they are and will keep recycling waste (65%) and conserving water (50%) in personal moves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Fuel efficient cars:

In a possible reflection of the economic climate, or action already taken as a result of high fuel prices, the number intending to buy a more fuel efficient vehicle is 20%, down from 58% last year.

The number planning to sell an older model vehicle has gone down from 33% to 19%.

Households most planning to buy a more fuel efficient low-emission vehicle in the next year are one parent ones with three or more children at home (35%), and two-parent families with three or more children at home.

Households earning less than $20,000 a year and between $20,001 and $30,000 have the highest (21%) vehicle upgrade intention. A younger more efficient vehicle is obviously being seen as more of a priority in helping balance household budgets.

New technology opportunities:

In the business sector, it appears there are sales opportunities in new technology, to allow for virtual meetings and other services which reduce travel and time costs as well as emissions.

Parliament's decision on September 10 this year to put a price on emissions, through the emissions trading scheme, means products and services which allow people to avoid that cost will have more appeal, Business Council Chief Executive Peter Neilson says.

There will be transitional assistance for households with one-off payments when electricity carries an emissions price from January 1, 2010. Fuel will carry an emissions price from January 1, 2011, and for the first time all sectors and all gases will be paying a price for using the atmosphere from January 1, 2013.

The new price being charged for sending solid waste to landfill may also start affecting investor, seller and buyer behaviour, the Business Council says.

"It seems a third of a market may be out looking for more energy efficient appliances, and ones carrying good energy ratings and eco labels, during the next year," Mr Neilson says.

Other research conducted for the Business Council in February-March this year shows price (50%) is the primary factor influencing New Zealanders' buying decisions, followed by quality (30%) and environmental and social impact (11%).

"For the savvy marketer and retailer both studies show there's a mass market sitting there among price conscious and environmentally aware consumers," Mr Neilson says.

The latest personal emissions intentions survey report is available here: http://www.nzbcsd.org.nz/story.asp?id=943.

The survey was conducted between September 10 26, 2008. Results are weighted by age, gender, personal income, employment status, ethnicity and party vote 2005. The maximum margin of error on the national sample at a 95% confidence level is plus or minus 1.5%.

Ends

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