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Report on Energy Efficiency Bill

Media release - Transport and Environment Committee

Thursday, 15 July 1999

The Transport and Environment Committee presented its report on the Energy Efficiency Bill today. This is a Member's bill in the name of Jeanette Fitzsimons. In its report, the committee recommends that the bill be passed with amendments.

As introduced, the bill aimed to increase energy efficiency in New Zealand by establishing a statutory authority, setting out a process for developing a national energy efficiency and conservation strategy and market transformation plans, and providing for the power to make rules about energy performance. Various amendments to other Acts were also included.

The committee recommends that the bill be passed, but that significant amendments be made. In particular, it is proposed that primary responsibility for advancing energy efficiency and conservation should rest with the responsible Minister, rather than with a particular Crown entity.

Recommended amendments also clarify that the purpose of the bill includes the promotion of renewable sources of energy; remove the proposed statutory power to prepare market transformation plans; delegate the power to make regulations, rather than rules; and omit proposed amendments to other Acts (including the provision for the regulation of domestic electricity prices).

The committee notes that it has been faced with the difficulty of reconciling the general support for the bill expressed by most submitters with the concerns expressed by the Government. The committee considers that the bill, as amended, may contribute significantly towards meeting New Zealand's commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The passing of this bill will result in greater awareness of the need to make wise energy use decisions, and will provide greater focus for efforts to promote energy efficiency.

Copies of the Transport and Environment Committee's report on the bill will be available shortly from Bennetts Government Bookshops.

Permanent members of the select committee are: Hon Denis Marshall (Chairperson), Hon Chris Fletcher (Deputy Chairperson), Peter Brown, Harry Duynhoven, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Gavan Herlihy, Pete Hodgson, and Owen Jennings.

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