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Energy efficiency and renewable energy projects

Award winners leading by example

Energy efficiency and renewable energy projects help New Zealand in many ways

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The energy issues we face are hugely complex and challenging. Internationally climate change and energy security are critical strategic issues facing countries around the world.

New Zealand is no different. Energy is critical to our economy and our way of life, but so is the environment. This means we have ensure that we meet our energy needs in a sustainable way.

The government takes a strong interest in this area. Jeanette Fitzsimons, of the Green Party, also has a leadership role in energy efficiency and is already making an impact. I'd like to thank Jeanette for her efforts so far and I am looking forward to working with her to improve New Zealand's energy efficiency.

The government is also developing a National Energy Strategy that will provide direction and leadership for the energy sector . It will put New Zealand on the path to an energy system that supports sustainable development.

It will adopt a system wide view to bring out the best of both demand and supply - side solutions and promote appropriate investment in the energy sector.

The replacement National Energy and Efficiency and Conservation Strategy will be integrated into the National Energy Strategy. Both will have policies and interventions to gear up New Zealand's energy efficiency and renewable energy performance. Your input and feedback is important to ensure the success of these strategies. The process for development of these crucial guiding documents will give you the opportunity to have your views taken into account.

The government needs commitment and engagement from the whole economy. Innovative and forward-thinking organisations such as tonight's EnergyWise Award winners can show others how it can be done.

You are proof that sustainable energy management makes good financial as well as environmental sense. You demonstrate that innovation and creativity solves complex energy challenges.

You show that the answers can lie in the uptake of technology.

As I am also Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues, I am acutely aware of the importance energy efficiency has in this challenging area.
Climate change is accelerating and its costs and risks are increasing. Projects that encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy help New Zealand to reduce emissions and meet our international agreements.

I am told that the combined total of carbon emissions saved by the EECA EnergyWise Awards winners is well over 100,000 tonnes annually. This demonstrates that everybody can make a difference to New Zealand's drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I would like to congratulate the winners for leading by example and showing that we can all make a difference, and that energy efficiency makes good business sense. I also want to wish you all continuing success in your business ventures.

Thank you and good evening.

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