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Gas/LPG industry welcomes draft energy strategy

Gas/LPG industry welcomes draft energy strategy

The draft strategy “Developing our energy potential”, has been welcomed by the LPG and gas industries, but LPG Association executive director, Peter Gilbert, says there are inconsistencies between the discussion paper and actions being taken by EECA.

The new strategy notes that ‘Gas is an important direct source of energy in industry and homes, either reticulated or as LPG. The direct use of gas by end consumers can offer consumer and national benefits, particularly when used for large industrial purposes or for water heating’.

“It is very pleasing to see this government recognising the value of direct use of gas, especially for space and water heating purposes,” Mr Gilbert said.

“Encouraging its use will help to increase New Zealand’s energy efficiency, reduce its carbon footprint and reduce the strain on the electricity networks at peak times.”

It’s therefore puzzling, Mr Gilbert said, that EECA will offer subsidies to encourage households to install hot water heat pumps, but won’t do the same for instantaneous gas hot water systems.

“This is strange because instantaneous gas systems are a lower carbon alternative to hot water heat pumps and the draft energy strategy specifically talks about the value of gas and about the need to reduce our carbon profile.”

Therefore the Associations are urging the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to reconsider proposed subsidies for the installation of hot water heat pumps because they seem contrary to the intent of the government’s draft energy strategy.

Mr Gilbert noted the draft strategy also reinforces the need to provide better information to consumers to help them make decisions around their energy choices.

“Our industry has long argued this is a key role for EECA, and it’s certainly something that agency is now starting to do.

“But this information must be balanced and impartial, and the playing field must be level.

“EECA’s decision to provide subsidies for heat pump hot water systems and not for gas hot water systems would seem to send a less than balanced message to consumers.”

Gas Association executive director, Stephen Parker, said EECA’s proposed subsidies also flew in the face of recent recommendations by the Gas Industry Company (GIC) that government should incentivise the uptake of gas hot water systems because of their low carbon footprint.

“The GIC commissioned a detailed report that said replacing all of New Zealand’s electric hot water heating with instantaneous gas systems would reduce New Zealand’s C02 emissions by 430,000 tonnes per annum.
“It clearly highlighted the value of direct use of gas, which is supported by the draft energy strategy.

“So, yes, while we are pleased with the direction of the draft strategy, we hope the messages it sends, and those sent by the GIC, are duly noted by those responsible for encouraging consumers to make the best energy choices.”

ENDS

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