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Greens Welcome Energy Campaign

29 July 2001

Greens Welcome Energy Campaign - But Industry Must Be Involved

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today said she was pleased Energy Minister Pete Hodgson had agreed with the Greens that energy conservation is the key to avoiding the looming electricity crisis.

Ms Fitzsimons said the Greens were happy to support the campaign for all New Zealanders to cut their power consumption by 10 per cent for 10 weeks but said the real question was who will make this happen.

"It is essential to involve the power companies who are losing money by selling at lower prices than they are buying," said Ms Fitzsimons. "Industry should, along with Government, help fund spot ads on TV and in newspapers listing all the measures that will save power without reducing production or comfort."

Ms Fitzsimons yesteday released a brief list of energy saving initiatives for both home and business and said it is not difficult to think of ten times that number.

"Power companies should also be talking directly to their bigger customers like large commercial buildings and offer technical help to accomplish energy savings. It is disapppointing that the Minister seems to have missed the opportunity yesterday to get solid commitments from these companies to play their part in reducing demand as well as increasing supply," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) must be deeply involved in managing the current situation.

"EECA's legislative mandate includes promoting energy conservtion. If ever there was a time for that it is now. They have the expertise to directly assist companies which are desperate to reduce their exposure to the spot price," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said the situation had to managed carefully so as not to expose the public to any physical risk.

"If we are not very careful we will have members of the public trying to do their bit turning off the wrong things at the wrong times, getting cold and sick or going without essentials, just because they do not understand the best way to help," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said both her electorate and the Green Parliamentary office are available to help organisations wanting to advise and assist their members and in providing the public with energy efficiency advice.

Ends


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