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Plough profits back into energy education

Plough profits back into energy education, say Greens

Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons is calling on the Government to use some of the money it is making out of this year's energy crisis to help properly fund teams of experts to visit every commercial high-rise and major retail store in the country.

"The Government makes a great deal of money from the energy SOEs," Ms Fitzsimons, the Green Energy spokesperson, pointed out today. "These profits should go back into energy efficiency, to ease this crisis and prevent the next one."

"Meridian returned a special dividend last year of $100 million; Genesis returned $11.8 million and Mighty River, $19.2 million. Genesis will make even more this year, thanks to running the fossil fuel-guzzling Huntly station flat-out and getting extremely high spot process.

"Compare those profits - and the $1.2 billion earmarked for the next big power project - with the miserly $1.4 million increase the Government has doled out to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) in this year's Budget.

"Incredibly, in the middle of an energy crisis which can only by solved by conservation, the very body charged with educating and informing the public about conservation is starved of the funds needed to do its job properly.

"There is a huge amount of ignorance in the business community about what they could and should be doing to conserve power. This winter, the Government should be diverting at least part of the profits it makes from the power industry into sending teams of specialists around every commercial building and large retail store in the country.

"Anyone who has been in a shopping centre during the day or has been blinded by the night-lights of our cities, knows that we are still wasting an awful lot of energy," said Ms Fitzsimons. "What we are calling for is the funding to be made available so that everyone has the information and the expertise to reduce energy use without hardship or loss."

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