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Energy efficiency recommendations welcomed

Media Statement

22 February 2000

Energy efficiency recommendations welcomed

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's report on energy efficiency and renewable energy is a useful and well-timed document with sensible recommendations, Minister of Energy Pete Hodgson said today.

Many of the Commissioner's recommendations in the report "Getting More From Less", released today, are in accord with Government policy, Mr Hodgson said.

"The Government will consider in detail its response to the recommendations but I expect many of them will be met by the policies we are now putting in place. Others will make a very constructive contribution as we consider how to improve New Zealand's energy efficiency and uptake of renewable energy sources.

"I am pleased to say this Government will be implementing minimum energy performance standards and renewing the energy-wise companies campaign, both of which were neglected by the previous Government. Both of these measures have been recommended to me by the Commissioner as matters for immediate action. We are also committed to improving the building code and introducing energy efficiency labelling.

"Improving New Zealand's energy efficiency offers huge economic, environmental and social gains for relatively little cost. The Commissioner's report gives a clear explanation of these gains. The same reasoning lies at the heart of the Government's energy policy.

"Unfortunately the report also highlights how New Zealand has lost the plot regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy in recent years. We have also fallen behind on our international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the report highlights the vital contribution that energy efficiency improvements can make on that score.

"The Government recognises the importance of strengthening the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, which has been struggling with funding and governance problems. In cooperation with the Green Party we are working to give EECA greater resources and independence.

ENDS

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