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Energy Shortages Bite As Business Costs Increase

A new survey by BusinessNZ showing major increases in electricity and energy costs is another warning sign for the future, according to Energy Resources Aotearoa.

"It’s a real worry, but not surprising, to see big increases in energy costs for businesses in this survey," says chief executive John Carnegie.

"Low hydro lake levels, reduced wind generation and temporary natural gas supply issues are having a real impact.

"This shows how vulnerable New Zealand’s energy system is if we fail to get the right signals to invest in a balanced energy system, providing affordable and reliable energy as we transition.

"According to the survey results we now face a future of reduced production, job losses, higher prices for consumers and some firms considering closure or moving offshore.

"This highlights the importance of natural gas to New Zealand’s industries and as a back-up to renewable electricity which will always be intermittent.

"Our worry is what happens next time we have a dry year, if we don’t have the required investment into our existing natural gas fields? We can’t keep relying on expensive imported coal to fill the energy shortage gap as we wait for renewables to become affordable.

"An Energy Accord between Government and industry would be a good step towards tackling this challenge. This would be a joint commitment to work together on lowering emissions and ensuring the right investment climate to deliver the energy New Zealand needs."

The BusinessNZ survey is available at www.businessnz.org.nz.

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