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Report Could Save Millions Of Dollars: EECA

NEWS RELEASE 23 FEBRUARY 2000

ACTING ON PARLIAMENTARY REPORT COULD SAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS: EECA

Implementing a national energy efficiency strategy, as recommended by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, could save New Zealand millions of dollars, the Chairman of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), Giff Davidson, said today.

Mr Davidson's comments followed the tabling of a report in Parliament today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Morgan Williams. The report reviewed New Zealand's energy efficiency and renewable activities.

It was prompted by a request from the Transport and Environment Select Committee to assist with its examination of the Energy Efficiency Bill. Only last week the Bill received overwhelming support from both sides of the House.

Mr Davidson said "The report calls for greater government leadership in energy efficiency and the formal establishment of a statutory energy efficiency and renewable energy agency. It also calls for a new national energy efficiency and renewable energy strategy, which is to be prepared using a consultative process."

Just five of EECA's existing energy efficiency programmes are already saving New Zealand energy consumers over $60 million. Energy efficiency investments by New Zealand businesses and individuals participating in other EECA programmes are estimated to be saving a further $140 million. The total benefits amount to around $6 for every dollar Government has invested through EECA in the past six years.

"These savings figures could be significantly increased over the next decade if we developed and implemented a practical national energy efficiency strategy as the Parliamentary Commissioner recommends," Mr Davidson said.

"There are very significant national economic and environmental benefits in this approach - the most notable being increased business competitiveness and reduced greenhouse gas emissions."

Mr Davidson said that EECA is already discussing issues relating to strategy development and EECA's future directly with the Minister of Energy, Hon Pete Hodgson. "The Minister is a champion of energy efficiency and is keen to see it given much greater emphasis."

Mr Davidson said that EECA could call on its wealth of experience to roll out a range of new and expanded energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives targeting both businesses and householders.

"Some of these programmes are already in place. Others are new or pilot initiatives that would benefit energy consumers across the board, but which we can't implement with current resources.

"There is no downside to spending more on wise energy efficiency and renewable energy projects because New Zealanders will recoup the investment many times over."

_________________________

For further information contact: Godfrey Bridger, EECA Chief Executive, Ph 04 470 2201, 021 274 3437 or Giff Davidson, EECA Chairman Ph 04 476-6883

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