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Labour committed to warmer and healthier homes

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Energy

13 September 2005 Media Statement

Labour committed to warmer and healthier homes

Labour is committed to taking practical steps to ensure that New Zealand has a secure, affordable, and sustainable energy future, said Prime Minister Helen Clark and Energy Minister Trevor Mallard.

Helen Clark said that Labour in its third term would focus on affordable energy so that all New Zealanders can live in warm and healthy homes.

"Affordability and efficiency go hand in hand - saving energy saves money. By taking practical steps to reduce energy demand Labour will reduce the pressures on New Zealand's energy generation infrastructure and reduce costs across the board," Helen Clark said.

"It is essential that we look for long-term, sustainable solutions, rather than quick fixes. Labour will help New Zealand reach the target of 20 per cent improvement in energy efficiency by 2012, and therefore help save consumers money as well.

"We will develop and implement the Warm Homes Project, which has combined energy efficiency, environmental, and health gains. As part of the project Labour will investigate the possibility of a subsidy scheme to help homeowners switch to cleaner sources of home heating and introduce other energy efficiency measures.

"It is also important that buildings in the future are constructed with energy efficiency in mind so that they are healthier, more comfortable, and cheaper to run.

"We will raise the required levels of insulation, and encourage the consideration of passive solar design, solar hot water systems, and efficient low-emission fireplaces, all of which reduce energy demand," Helen Clark said.

Trevor Mallard said in addition to improving efficiency Labour will also take positive action to ensure energy costs remain fair.

"We will continue to require retailers to offer a low fixed charge tariff option to domestic consumers who use less than 8,000 kWh/year, ensuring that they pay less on the low fixed charge than any corresponding tariff option," Trevor Mallard said.

"Labour will also ensure that the contracts between domestic consumers and electricity retailers are fair, transparent, and easy to understand.

"We will also make sure consumers get the benefits of a competitive retail market by minimising the barriers to switching between energy retailers."


ENDS

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