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


Elderly need innovative solutions to power price

17 March 2005

Elderly need innovative solutions to power price problems

Solving the problem of power bills for the elderly requires more innovative solutions than Winston Peters’ suggestion of regulating power prices, the Green Party says.

“If Winston really wanted to help senior citizens, who are paying too much of their income for power, he should have offered to help them better insulate and damp-proof their homes,” Green Co-Leader and Energy Spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons said. “Improving the energy efficiency of elderly people’s homes will mean they use less electricity; and will help them stay healthier in warmer, drier homes”

Ms Fitzsimons said the New Zealand First leader’s plans to force power companies to justify price rises to old people was unworkable.

“Giving energy regulatory bodies more clout to protect the elderly from higher prices, as Winston proposes, could actually make things worse for older people. Cheaper electricity will just push up demand by others who are less frugal than the elderly, meaning the elderly have to cope with all the detrimental effects of increased energy use.

“Firstly, there would be the continued and increasing use of coal-fired power stations, causing more of the smoky air that brings elderly people so many respiratory problems.

“Secondly, we would see more and more proposals for huge, ugly pylons, destroying the visual environment and property prices for countless New Zealanders. The current Transpower proposal for gigantic, ugly pylons right up the upper half of the North Island would be just the first of many such plans if Winston’s proposals were adopted.”

“Finally, as demand went up and up, there would be pressure for price rises to pay for new power stations or threats of power cuts. We need to find smarter ways to use energy and keep the cost of staying warm down. Ever increasing electricity use simply means more pollution, more pylons and higher prices; with the worst effects falling on the elderly and others on low incomes.”

Ms Fitzsimons said that, rather than trying to force electricity companies to lower their prices, it would make much more sense to help everyone, including the elderly, to meet their needs with less electricity.

“The Electricity Commission should be funded to provide old people with assistance to make their homes much more energy-efficient. This would include insulating, damp-proofing and draught-proofing their homes, and providing wraps for their water cylinder and pipes. Such measures can cut household energy use by 25 to 30 percent in some cases, with accompanying savings on power bills.”

However, Ms Fitzsimons applauded Mr Peters for adopting the Green Party policy of getting rid of fixed line charges and only charging people for what they use.

“It’s heartening to see Winston following the Green view on this issue.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news