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Govt leadership on electricity savings

Monday, 30 July 2001 Media Statement

Govt leadership on electricity savings


Cabinet today approved Energy Minister Pete Hodgson's proposals for a 15 percent electricity savings target for the public sector and a government-led electricity conservation campaign.

Mr Hodgson has called on New Zealanders to make electricity savings of 10 percent for ten weeks to avert a supply crisis later in the year. This will be the key message of the conservation campaign, which will be managed by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). Cabinet has approved funding of up to $2.25 million.

"Government needs to show leadership in the effort to save electricity and that's why we're asking the public service to meet the higher target of a 15 percent saving," Mr Hodgson said. "The Ministers of Health and Education will be advising Cabinet of practicable targets for hospitals and schools, where we need to balance the need for savings with the need to maintain comfortable and safe conditions for patients and pupils."

The savings campaign will include practical information on how to save electricity. It will begin in the second week of August and run for at least four weeks, with consideration of a possible extension based on lake levels, the threat at that stage of potential electricity shortages and effectiveness of the campaign to date.

Key elements of the campaign are:

Households

- A television advertising campaign using five commercials running for four weeks.
- A supporting advice call centre to be co-ordinated by EECA (and run in conjunction with electricity suppliers still to be agreed).
- An electricity-savings tips video and brochure to be provided to householders who call the advice centre.
- A print advertising campaign in 115 community newspapers (one insertion per week for three weeks). This campaign will reinforce the electricity-savings tips.

Commercial and light industrial

- A targeted scheme comprising electricity audits of large commercial and light industrial enterprises (details of how the scheme will be run are still to be agreed with electricity suppliers, and could be rolled out to smaller customers over time).
- A direct mail campaign containing a variety of practical measures for reducing electricity use. Some of this material could be distributed as part of the electricity audits.
- A key element of this direct marketing campaign is an electricity-savings tips video, specifically designed for the commercial market.
- An outdoor advertising campaign targeting two key billboard sites in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch for four to six weeks.

In a parallel initiative, the wholesale market administrator M-co is developing a measure of savings achieved in response to the call for a 10% reduction, to be made available for daily reporting. This information will also be available on a website being developed (www.save-electricity.co.nz).

Electricity-savings information will available on EECA’s website (www.eeca.govt.nz) and for the use of other organisations likely to be used for advice, such as the Consumers Institute and electricity suppliers.

ENDS

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