Conservation Can Help Bring Lakes Up & Prices Down
Jeanette Fitzsimons, Green Party co-leader and Energy spokesperson, has prepared a plan to address the electricity industry crisis, to coincide with the emergency summit being held today at the Beehive today.
Ms Fitzsimons said the Minister's meeting with the electricity industry and consumers this morning must plan for widespread and intelligent conservation measures to address the electricity crisis.
"There are two problems: the lakes are too low, and the spot price is too high. If we can get the lakes up by saving energy, not only will we save the price of those units, but the spot price will come down.
"I don't agree with the Minister's hands-off approach to date, but I do agree on one thing - if we just regulate the price down we will run out of energy. Conservation is a smarter way to do it.
"Of course, to get the best from conservation it should not be turned on and off with lake levels. But we haven't got time now to make much difference with energy efficiency, where savings are built up gradually and permanently by installing equipment like insulation, thermostats, smart appliances.
"What will make the difference at this stage is conservation - changing behaviour, turning things off when we're not using them.
"This is what saved us in the 1992 hydro crisis - Auckland University saved 28% of its power use just by turning things off when they weren't being used and changing lighting levels a bit.
Ms Fitzsimons said the solutions are very well known.
"I've been talking about them for 25 years, and they don't need to involve any loss of comfort or production. No-one needs to take cold showers, eat their Sunday dinner raw, or drink their beer warm."