Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Smarter energy use is the first priority

30 March 2004

Smarter energy use is the first priority

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says the demise of Project Aqua will now lead to the serious debate on New Zealand's energy future that she has been campaigning for since the 1970s.

The tough choices that have previously only been debated in the South and amongst energy analysts and environmentalists are finally reaching front pages in the cities where the energy is being unsustainably consumed.

"Bring it on," said Ms Fitzsimons, the Green Party Spokesperson on Energy.

This afternoon in the House Ms Fitzsimons will ask Energy Minister Peter Hodgson: "What additional steps will the Minister be taking to promote energy efficiency, energy conservation and renewable energy following the cancellation of Project Aqua?" (Question 9). Under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act introduced in 1998 the Minister has a statutory duty to promote these priorities.

"New Zealand has to get a whole lot smarter when it comes to energy. We have to face up to the fact that we are among the most wasteful power users in the Western world," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"Before we can even consider matters of supply, we have to sort out the demand side of this essential equation. It is ridiculous, for instance, that the total annual budget of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority is less than one per cent of what Meridian was contemplating spending on Aqua.

"The Government should be making it easier for New Zealanders to make the right choices. Energy auditors tell me they can go into virtually any business and immediately identify energy savings of 20 per cent that will provide better quality lighting, heating, cooling and industrial power at less cost.

"But the basic structure of power bills, where fixed-line charges dominate actual consumption, discourage consumers from making day-to-day savings and from investing in their own small-scale power production, such as solar water heating, or energy efficient home appliances. If power companies will not voluntarily change the way their bills are structured then legislation has to be considered.

"It is worth remembering that much of the extra, environmentally damaging capacity that is now being called for is simply to cover peak demand. The Dominion Post recently reported that California has in recent years realised a 'secret surplus' that has turned 'crisis savings' during power shortages into permanent reductions in consumption. The cornerstone of this effort has been an education campaign that encouraged simple measures such as households shifting the use of main appliances till after peak evening demand had passed.

"Surely if 34 million, lifestyle-orientated Californians can be encouraged to permanently slice 14 per cent off their energy consumption simply through changing their habits, then so can 4 million New Zealanders."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election