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IEA report shows need for more energy efficiency

Friday, 2 June 2000 Media Statement

IEA report shows need for more energy efficiency

The International Energy Agency's research on New Zealand's energy intensity reinforces the need for New Zealanders to take energy efficiency seriously, says Energy Minister Pete Hodgson.

Mr Hodgson was briefed last night by Dr Lee Schipper, the internationally recognised energy analyst who led the IEA research team in a four-year study commissioned by New Zealand’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

The study compared New Zealand's energy use with that of other OECD countries. It found that New Zealand has the energy use habits of a highly developed country, but the GDP per capita of a lower-ranking country.

The study also found that New Zealand can be expected to face growing energy demand and upward pressure on energy prices as the economy grows.

"The IEA report underlines clearly that New Zealanders are blasé about how much energy they use,” Mr Hodgson said. "We have lost the plot in recent years when it comes to energy efficiency and the value of renewable energy sources. That’s very worrying for a country trading on a clean, green reputation.

"Our demand for energy is expected to increase with economic growth and that can be expected to push up energy prices and energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Using energy more efficiently is one of the best ways to counter that.

"As Energy Minister I am shifting the policy focus from energy production to more efficient energy consumption. That means EECA's budget will increase and - as required by the new Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000 - I will be developing a National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy."

ENDS

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