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Sensible energy solutions from IEA

The International Energy Agency's call today for New Zealand to develop stronger energy efficiency and public transport initiatives has been welcomed by the Government's Spokesperson on Energy Efficiency Jeanette Fitzsimons.

The IEA , an independent body within the OECD, this morning released the results of its in-depth review of New Zealand's energy policies. These reviews are carried out on member countries every four years.

"The report recommends that Government adopt much stronger polices for improving energy efficiency in the transport sector. New Zealand has one of the world's highest car ownership rates - our 4 million people own 2.5 million cars. The report says the efficiency of our fleet is relatively low, in part because we have a large share of imported used vehicles.

"The Government's Fuel Saver website, launched this morning, is an important first step in improving the fuel efficiency of our fleet. This will give consumers access to the information they need to make informed choices when buying a car.

"However, there is much more that could be done. For instance the IEA recommends that mandatory fuel efficiency labelling of all cars, both new and used, be implemented as soon as possible. This is something the Government is already considering. Other initiatives that could be considered include minimum fuel economy standards and economic incentives.

"Improving energy efficiency in our homes and buildings was also recommended. The report suggests that a strengthened building code be established and put into force as soon as possible.

"The Building Code is being reviewed with a view to enhancing energy efficiency measures. The Government is also starting to look at ways to encourage energy efficiency measures in existing buildings.

Improving the efficiency standards and labelling for a wider range of electrical appliances and consumer electronics was also recommended.

"The Government has a good team working on these issues and I strongly support this recommendation," Ms Fitzsimons says.


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