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Major savings for NZ in energy efficiency strategy

Slashing New Zealand’s energy bills by hundreds of millions of dollars a year is one of the many benefits outlined in the draft Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy released today.

The draft strategy aims for a 20 percent improvement in New Zealand’s energy efficiency by 2012 and a rise in the use of renewable energy sources.

Achieving this will result in a wide range of environmental, economic and social gains for all New Zealanders, said Minister of Energy Pete Hodgson.

"One of the main outcomes of the draft strategy is that it could cut New Zealand’s energy costs. It is also designed to deliver warmer, more comfortable homes that keep families healthier, improved transport systems and reduced congestion, and lower CO2 emissions.

“Making the economy more energy efficient will also make business and industry more competitive and help to create new jobs.”

Mr Hodgson said current energy use trends were not sustainable. New Zealand is predicted to use 13 percent more energy in 2012 than now, with an increasing reliance on fossil fuel energy sources such as oil, gas and coal.

Up to 75% of this could be wasted through energy inefficiency.

“New Zealand has a dismal energy efficiency record and that has a negative impact on the economy, on our comfort, lifestyles and health, and on our climate change response."

Under business-as-usual, New Zealand’s energy use trends will push up carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent on 1990 levels by 2012.

These figures contrast markedly with our commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels on average over 2008-2012.

The draft strategy promotes practical ways to make energy efficiency and renewable energy mainstream solutions in the government, residential, transport, energy supply and industrial sectors.

Development of a National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy is required by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000. It is the first time legislation has required New Zealand to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives on a national basis.

The draft strategy is being developed by the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority, in association with the Ministry for the Environment.

Public consultation will include presentations in 13 centres between April and May 2001. EECA is seeking submissions on the draft from April 1 to June 1 and Mr Hodgson is due to issue the final version of the strategy by October 1.


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