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Input sought on energy efficiency strategy

4 July 2006

Input sought on energy efficiency strategy

Energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy together form the Government's unified approach to climate change and energy issues, Government Spokesperson on Energy Efficiency Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

Along with the work plan for climate change policy and proposals for the NZ Energy Strategy, the Government is today releasing the framework to guide the development of a new Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority lead the preparation of the framework paper, working in close cooperation with other government departments and agencies. The framework sets the purpose, rationale, and expectations of the new strategy.

EECA will begin seeking input from a wide range of the public, including industry, local authorities, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, community, environmental, and Maori organizations later this month.

Ms Fitzsimons said the replacement NEECS is expected to include an economy-wide action plan with specific programmes and targets to enable New Zealand to realise the many benefits that come from energy efficiency and renewable energy.

"The first Strategy, developed five years ago, set some ambitious targets but did not fully establish who was responsible for achieving them. This time, we are looking at breaking down the single target into sectoral targets, matched with policies and mechanisms for attaining them, and agencies with the power and responsibility to ensure we do.

"Although energy use has continued to grow in a rapidly expanding economy, it would have grown even faster without the measures in the first Strategy. For example, minimum energy standards have been for the first time set for most household appliances, which means consumers are protected from buying products that will waste energy throughout their lives. Energy savings from the MEPS programme so far are estimated at $18.5 million a year, from a budget of less than $1 million ? and of course, the savings will continue each year as more appliances that meet the standards are bought and replace those that do not."

The Strategy will be developed in parallel with the New Zealand Energy Strategy, and both will share common goals. In effect, the NEECS will be an integrated subset of the NZES.

The comment-seeking phase of the replacement NEECS will inform the development of the draft Strategy, which will be circulated for public submission.

A finalised replacement Strategy is expected to be ready to implement in June 2007.

ENDS

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