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Greens take dim view of power waste

Greens take dim view of power waste

An early start to energy conservation is the key to avoiding the threat of widespread blackouts that nearly crippled the country in 2001, Greens Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

Ms Fitzsimons said a target of five per cent savings in power consumption is far easier to accomplish than the 10 per cent target set in July 2001 to manage the last dry winter.

"By being aware of the problem and starting a conservation campaign in April rather than July, we have a much better chance of avoiding crippling power cuts and cold showers this winter," said Ms Fitzsimons. "After all, five per cent is only the amount electricity demand has grown over the last year!

"Five per cent savings can be achieved by looking after the little things - switching off lights, computers and appliances at the wall when not in use. Starting later would risk shutting down production."

Ms Fitzsimons said it is important that efforts be made in every department, in the household and at work, to save power now and not later when it was too late. She called upon managers to set a good example.

"I note with interest that members and staff in Parliament were sent a list last week of ways to save energy in our offices and I'm happy to say that Green MPs and staff have been doing these things over recent weeks.

"Although our offices are not as brightly lit as usual, our staff have been making the effort to shut down anything that could use unnecessary power when not in use.

"The leadership of the Green Party certainly take a dim view of lights or computers left on at night, and our colleagues arrive in the morning to find reminder stickers on their machines if they've forgotten."

"The beauty of a voluntary conservation plan is that everyone can do the bits that suit best. You have a choice of whether you start with wasted lights, heaters you aren't using, the oven left on after cooking, moving to cold-water clothes washing, measuring just enough water into the jug before you boil it, turning off the towel rails or hanging the clothes on the line.

"Some people will do all of these. It's just about 'thinking energy' for a while until it becomes a habit.

"People often underestimate what can happen when everyone makes a small effort. For example, according to the chief electricity regulator in Britain an extra power station is scheduled to come on line to deal with the many people who switch the jug on at the conclusion of Coronation Street!"

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