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Energy policy a real mess

Gerry Brownlee National Energy Spokesperson

5 March 2003

Energy policy a real mess

National is raising concerns about a Government state owned enterprise increasing fixed gas supply rates when the Government is trying to encourage more use of gas because it is more energy efficient.

"Genesis Energy has raised the fixed price for supply of gas to 71 cents a day, which will be an increase of up to 60 percent on gas bills for many families," says National Energy Spokesperson Gerry Brownlee.

"The Government-funded Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is encouraging people to use gas because it is three times more efficient than electricity.

"Why is Energy Minister Pete Hodgson spending so much money on the EECA when this SOE is adopting a pricing regime that actively encourages inefficient use of energy?

"The Minister's answers to this question in Parliament today were totally inadequate. For him to say he is working with the industry to get a competitive gas market is just rubbish.

"Everyone knows we have short supplies of gas, and unless we have price structures that encourage efficient use of gas we are going to keep wasting it, or even worse, we will be pushing people to switch from gas to electricity.

"I have families complaining to me that their gas bills have gone up 60 percent. Under this pricing regime they will be forced to go to electricity, which is three times less efficient. The Minister must tell us exactly where the logic is in this," Mr Brownlee said.


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