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Government Leads With Tougher Energy Targets

Government is leading the drive for a more energy efficient nation by accepting tougher energy efficiency targets in its own operations.

The Draft National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy, launched by Minister of Energy Pete Hodgson today, aims to improve New Zealand’s overall energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2012.

It challenges the industry, energy supply, transport and buildings sectors to improve energy efficiency by two percent a year.

But central government has already committed to improving energy efficiency in its own operations by three percent a year by 2005. Local government will be invited to adopt a similar target.

Mr Hodgson said both areas of government play crucial roles in demonstrating energy efficiency and direction.

“Leadership programmes, education, pricing, planning and resource management are critical areas where government can influence energy trends. We want a strong partnership between central and local government to do this.”

This could include reviewing Resource Management Act guidelines to improve solar orientation of new housing; managing environmental effects of renewable energy projects; research into energy efficient urban design; and community projects such as the energy efficient retrofitting of 42 low-income houses in Opotiki.

“Areas where government may make changes include pricing, tax and policy measures which would ensure the full costs of energy use, including environmental costs, are accounted for.

“We may also consider introducing tougher building and appliance regulations,” Mr Hodgson said.

Ends

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