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Hodgson admits energy crisis looms

Hodgson admits energy crisis looms

A startling admission in Parliament today that New Zealanders are facing potential brown outs during winter unless they start conserving electricity now.

"Pete Hodgson has now finally faced up to the reality that New Zealand could be in trouble unless domestic and commercial consumers start saving electricity," says National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"The big consumers like the Tiwai Point Aluminium smelter have been cutting back their electricity consumption and say they're 'very worried by it particularly at this early stage in the lead-up to winter'.

"Carter Holt Harvey say they have 'huge concerns' while Trustpower has been forced to call on consumers to start saving power whereever they can," says Mr Brownlee.

"Meanwhile, the Major Electricity Users Group says industries are already 'pruning' production in response to rising prices

"Already the signs are there that Peter Hodgson has failed to come to grips with the seriousness of the situation.

"When some of our biggest industries are being forced to peel back production it's time for Mr Hodgson to act," Mr Brownlee says.

"With the price of oil fluctuating on the world market and with gas prices due to rise as Maui nears its end, there's no relief in sight to our energy woes.

"Our country's electricity generation capacity is potentially a major stumbling block to economic growth and Prosperity for All New Zealanders.

"The Labour Government and their Green mates would have us believe that a focus on sustainable energy will answer the current crisis," says Mr Brownlee.

"While sustainable electricity generation is a worthy goal, the change will not come quick enough for New Zealanders facing brown-outs this winter.

"I'm now calling on the Energy Minister to make it clear to all power users what they can expect in the months ahead," Mr Brownlee says.

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