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Approach to energy efficiency costed, workable

Nick Smith MP
National Party Climate Change Spokesman

14 October 2008

National’s approach to energy efficiency costed and workable

“National is not committed to the Labour/Greens household insulation policy because it is unfunded and impractical, and we have a better approach”, says National’s Climate Change spokesman, Nick Smith.

“It is reckless in the middle of a global financial crisis for Labour and the Greens to be promising $1 billion without knowing where the money is coming from.

“Today’s explanation that it is being funded by the extra profits SOEs will be making from emissions trading is not credible when this money is fully committed to meeting the Government’s 90% renewable energy target.

“Finance Minister Michael Cullen told Parliament on 20 May this year that in respect of the emissions trading scheme ‘the State-owned enterprises that are anticipating increased profits have already planned to use those increased profits as part of their investment programme in renewable energy production, and that without that increased investment there is not the slightest prospect of meeting our targets’.

“It’s plain from Labour’s own statements that they can either commit to the home insulation fund or the 90% energy renewable target, but not both unless they are intending to add to their legacy of a decade of red ink.

“Nor does National want to pour money into the failed Labour/Greens approach to energy efficiency. The Government’s nanny state approach to energy efficiency has wrecked the solar water industry with installations halving over the past year, and their latest attempts to control shower flows has backfired.

“National’s approach is to work with industry and consumers on practical policies that will help home insulation and more efficient technologies.”

Dr Smith says National has committed $15 million a year to home insulation for state housing and announced $35 million for an upgraded solar water heating scheme.

“National believes that better insulation and more solar water heating is important enough to commit to them in tough economic times. Our policy is costed and deliverable. Labour’s is neither.

“We have pledged to work with local councils to provide financial assistance to help low income households convert to clean heating to improve their insulation, and committed $10 million to it.

“In addition, National has committed to boosting investment in the upgrade of state houses to $15 million a year to get them to a decent standard and improve their insulation, ventilation, and energy-efficiency.

“While Labour embarks on a path of irresponsible and uncosted vote-buying, paying no heed to the serious economic challenges ahead, National commits to policies we know we can deliver. Unlike Labour, we will spend taxpayers’ money as wisely as they do.”


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