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Gas New Zealand newsletter from the LPG and Gas Associations


April 2013


Welcome to Gas New Zealand, a joint publication of the LPG Association of NZ and the Gas Association of NZ.

Gas New Zealand is published regularly as part of the industry's efforts to encourage the direct use of natural gas and LPG into households and small businesses.

Using natural gas and LPG as a direct energy source offers numerous cost, environmental and energy efficiency benefits, and Gas New Zealand hopes to educate consumers and policy makers about the many advantages of making wider use of this strategic energy asset.


In this issue

• New website content and a new competition for 2013

• State of the New Zealand Gas Industry

• TLA's Urged to consult on LPG

• Global energy switch

• Gas industry forum 2013 to build on past success


NEW WEBSITE CONTENT AND A NEW COMPETITION FOR 2013

The Beauty of Gas website content has recently had a significant overhaul and has been updated, with even more work still to come on the site in the near future.

Data from the Concept Consulting report ‘Consumer Energy Options: An Evaluation of the Different Fuels and Technologies for Providing Water, Space and Process Heat ‘has been turned into new copy for the website www.thebeautyofgas.co.nz

Around 400 to 600 people visit the Beauty of Gas website a month but Gas NZ wants to draw many more people to it to read the new information, which includes facts such as using gas can cut power bills and gas is energy efficient and low carbon.

Gas New Zealand spokesperson Ray Ferner says you can’t argue with the data.

“While gas may not be as trendy as solar was, or as heavily promoted as heat pumps have been, it does help families to get lots of powerful, low carbon energy for the best possible cost.”

Last year a competition run in the NZ Herald was an unqualified success with thousands more people visiting the Beauty of Gas during the month it was run. More than 6000 people entered the competition after first having to view the website to answer the questions.

This year a similar competition is being held again in the NZ Herald. Rheem and Rinnai have both generously donated continuous water heaters as prizes and Vector and OnGas have agreed to potentially supply a free connection if the winner does not have a supply on site.

The competition will run in the ‘Warm up for Winter’ supplement on the 29th of April and the winners will be selected by the NZ Herald about a week later.


TLAs URGED TO CONSULT ON LPG

The LPG Association is asking all local authorities in New Zealand to make a point of consulting with it over proposed changes to the HSNO sections of their district plans.

The Association has written to all local authorities in New Zealand outlining its concerns about the way different plans treat the issue of LPG storage and use.

It’s told local authorities that LPG consumers are being ‘adversely affected by the duplication between district plan standards and those provisions of other statutes as they relate to the storage and use of LPG’.

“Ultimately what we are looking for is the opportunity to enter into a conversation and ongoing dialogue with local authorities around these matters,” says LPGA Executive Director, Peter Gilbert.

“This would hopefully allow any future proposed changes to the Hazardous Substances section of councils’ district plans to reflect more fully the views of all relevant parties.”

The LPGA has also made submissions on these issues to district council plans being promulgated by the Southland and Waitaki district councils, and the Queenstown Lakes district council discussion document on the subject.

“The main point for the LPGA is to see realistic trigger limits set by local authorities,” Peter said.

“Obviously it would be sensible to ensure some kind of uniformity among councils, but agreeing appropriate thresholds is the priority, hence the Association’s keenness to work closely with local authorities on these issues.”

Peter said the Association wants to ensure local authorities have a good understanding of the various regulations already applying to this issue, and the role they play in giving councils confidence that effective controls are in place.

“Setting trigger limits at sensible levels reduces the number of customers and ratepayers who have to suffer regulatory duplication and duplication of fees.”


GAS INDUSTRY FORUM 2013 TO BUILD ON PAST SUCCESS

Mark your diaries for the 2013 Gas Industry Forum, which will be held at the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Auckland on October 23, 24 and 25.

The Forum keeps getting better every year. In 2012, over 130 delegates attended the highly successful event, and Gas New Zealand hopes to build on that number this year.

Spokesperson and chief organiser, Peter Gilbert, says the 2012 event received a major ‘thumbs up’ from delegates, according to a post-event survey.

"Nearly 94% of respondents said they would attend another joint industry forum, which is an outstanding result.

“The survey also told us that 96% of respondents rated the overall Forum as either excellent or good,” he says.

Mr Gilbert says the information gathered from the survey will be used to improve the 2013 industry Forum.

He said Gas New Zealand will post the Forum programme and the line-up of speakers as soon as details are confirmed.


STATE OF THE NEW ZEALAND GAS INDUSTRY

A report on the current state and performance of the New Zealand Gas Industry has been released recently by the Gas Industry Co.

The New Zealand Gas story-the State and Performance of the New Zealand Gas Industry was released on March 8.

The report fulfils two purposes; firstly to report on the current state of the industry as part of the Gas Act obligations to the Minister of Energy, and secondly as a response to a request by industry participants for the Gas Industry Co to play a central role in bringing together the entire gas industry.

The report suggests that the overall picture is that of a robust industry that is contributing positively to New Zealand’s energy mix and economy.

“After more than 40 years, the gas sector continues to make a large and valuable contribution to New Zealand’s energy mix, the nation’s economy and the lifestyle of many New Zealanders. All signs point to it doing so for many years to come,” says Gas Industry Co Chief Executive Steve Bielby.

The report provides a comprehensive end-to-end discussion of the industry – including its historical context and progressive development.
“The New Zealand gas industry, while small globally, is substantial within New Zealand with around 260,000 consumers. It is the fuel of choice for many of the key businesses that drive our economy.”

The report goes on to say that the robust industry has developed significantly in the last 10 years.

“Yet it is not without challenges, including the continuous need to incentivise, prospecting and exploration, environmental concerns, challenges around transmission capacity control and the developing transparent wholesale market.”

Mr Bielby says however that the industry is largely meeting the policy objectives set for it.

The snap shot of the industry today is extremely valuable to stakeholders and is seen by Gas Industry Co to “assist wider knowledge and understanding of its role in the economy and society, and providing potential new participants and users with an information base that will help them in their investment decisions.”


GLOBAL ENERGY SWITCH

A visiting American energy expert says New Zealand has tremendous renewable energy and he is pushing for a global “switch” to renewable or lower carbon emission sources, including natural gas.

Dr Scott Tinker, the State Geologist of Texas has been in Wellington to host screenings of his documentary “Switch” about the global transition between different types of energy from carbon-based fuels such as coal and oil to lower emission natural gas, wind and biofuels.

He was invited to New Zealand by the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association and the screenings of Switch have also been supported by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

Dr Tinker says natural gas, wind and biofuels should ideally make up about half of the world’s energy supply by 2060. He says oil is falling as a total percentage of energy use around the world, and natural gas is rising.

Dr Tinker points out that the rising production from shale gas in the United States from “hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’, has seen natural gas prices plunge from US$10 a million cubic feet to just US$3 – and he says that’s been a key factor in that country’s economic recovery.

“While there will always be environmental risks with oil and gas exploration, better technology means the risks are now relatively low.”

He says New Zealand has valuable oil, gas and coal resources.

“For such countries, taking the low but real environmental risks of developing oil and gas could actually be of longer term benefit as money generated by those resources could be reinvested in the environment.”

ENDS

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