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Inefficient energy use means NZ helps warm world

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Te Kaitiaki Taiao a Te Whare Paremata

Inefficient energy use means New Zealand helps warm the world

Wellington, 22 February 2000— “New Zealand’s families and businesses are missing out on the benefits of more efficient energy use. Our homes and workplaces could be much easier to keep warm and our water heating bills could be less” said the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Morgan Williams.

“Inefficient energy use has environmental consequences and affects our economic competitiveness. The amount of benefit New Zealand gets from each unit of energy places us a lowly 17th out of 22 OECD countries” he said on the release of his investigation report entitled Getting more from less, a review of progress on energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives in New Zealand.

Dr Williams said “the investigation highlights the many barriers to consumers and businesses investing in buildings, equipment, appliances and vehicles that are more energy efficient. There is clear market failure in the uptake of quality energy efficiency information. I am recommending that the Government revitalise the role of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to address these barriers.”

“The Government should prepare a new energy efficiency strategy using a consultative process. Energy efficiency must become a key part of the development of our economy and the management of the environment – it cannot be an afterthought” the Commissioner said.

“Fossil fuels provide over 70 % of New Zealand’s total energy. The transport sector is responsible for over 40 % of New Zealand’s energy use and it is increasing each year. The use of fossil fuels produces a range of negative environmental effects including carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change. Current rates of growth in energy consumption and small improvements in energy efficiency and new sources of renewable energy means that New Zealand does not have a hope of meeting its climate change obligations.”

“A serious commitment to improving energy efficiency is a cost effective way to get environmental and economic gains. This requires a new focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy by Government in partnership with businesses and communities” said Dr Williams.

For more information contact:
Dr Morgan Williams, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Ph (04) 471 1669

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