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Successful Power Saving Campaign To Wind Down

New Zealanders will benefit if they keep using electricity wisely following the wind-down of the Government's electricity saving publicity campaign, says Energy Minister Pete Hodgson.

"I want to congratulate New Zealanders for the efforts they have made to save power in recent weeks," said Energy Minister Pete Hodgson.

“Voluntary power savings, temporary relaxation of transmission security and greater use of thermal generation have got us through a difficult period without supply interruptions. Despite record low inflows to the hydro lakes we can now be confident that the risk of a supply crisis has eased very significantly for this year.

"I hope New Zealanders will continue some of the energy-saving habits they have developed lately, " Mr Hodgson said. "Many people will have found ways to save power that cause them no real inconvenience at all. Continuing those savings makes sense for both the household budget and the national electricity system."

"Our approach has been to ask New Zealanders to accept a small amount of inconvenience in their daily lives for the sake of avoiding the much greater inconvenience of power cuts. New Zealanders have responded intelligently and successfully to that request."

Hydro lake levels have stabilised in recent weeks, wholesale electricity prices have declined steeply from their peak in late July and conservation and energy efficiency initiatives are estimated to have saved over 450 gigawatt-hours of hydro storage.

Six weeks have passed since Mr Hodgson asked for 10 percent savings for 10 weeks. Savings have varied from day to day and between regions but have mostly come in below the 10 percent target on a rolling seven-day average.

Mr Hodgson said national grid constraint bypasses and an energy audit programme for commercial buildings run by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority would continue for some weeks.

"Having faced up to the challenge of an exceptionally dry winter, New Zealanders should now take on the challenge of making the efficient use of electricity a permanent habit."

Ends

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