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Power Crisis And Health

Domestic Energy Users' Network: Press release 27 May 2008

Power Crisis And Health

In the face of a looming electricity crisis, Transpower should formally consult domestic energy users on how they can save electricity without harming their health.

DEUN, the Domestic Energy Users’ Network, was formed to coordinate a very wide range of householder interests, and represent those interests in policy consultations. “No area of public policy is more important than the prevention of power restrictions and possible rolling blackouts” said Molly Melhuish, co-convener of DEUN, today.

We welcome Transpower’s plan to inform all electricity consumers of how actual lake levels are changing.

But more is needed. Consumers need to work together with the supply industry, so that their response to a conservation campaign does the most good for the least impact.

Above all elderly and other people in poor health must not turn their heating down to the point they have to wrap up with a hottie. Some even go to bed, to keep warm. Remaining active is essential to maintaining health.

Cooperation between consumers and the supply industry is the only way we can stop the slide towards power supply disaster. All savings by consumers must be passed back to consumers.

Householders need help to achieve the retailers’ conservation targets. Just one way is for electricity retailers to supply and install, free of charge, insulating wraps on all older hot water cylinders. Each hot water wrap would save typically 2 kilowatt-hours per day. Since spot prices are now 30-50c per kilowatt-hour, the wraps should pay retailers back before the end of winter.

DEUN representing a broad spectrum of households stands ready to participate in any formal consultation process.


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