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15 percent power savings target for govt sector

15 percent power savings target for govt sector

Cabinet has set a 15 percent electricity savings target for the government sector.

Energy Minister Pete Hodgson said it was important for the government sector to provide leadership in electricity savings to help reduce the risk of power shortages this winter.

"Fifteen percent savings is a hard target but we expect the government sector to pursue savings at this level for as long as necessary, perhaps the next five to six months," Mr Hodgson said. "Public service chief executives will be formally notified of the target and savings will be monitored by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority."

Mr Hodgson said achieving 15 percent savings might require reduced working conditions in government agencies, such as reduced air conditioning or heating, but public servants' health and safety would not be compromised.

"Hospitals and schools will have to make all best endeavours to reach the savings target, but are specifically asked not to reduce levels of service or safety."

"The 15 percent target will be reviewed as necessary and could even be set higher if the electricity situation deteriorates further," Mr Hodgson said. "Achieving savings of more than 15 percent might require a reduction in services from government agencies, excluding schools and hospitals."

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority will monitor government sector savings monthly and move to weekly monitoring if necessary. Chief executives will be required to report to the State Services Commissioner by mid-May on how their agencies propose to save power.

The Cabinet set a 15 percent savings target for the government sector in late July 2001 and savings of 13 percent were achieved. Some of these savings have been maintained and continuing efforts to improve energy efficiency have reduced the potential for easy gains.

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