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Energy Report Pioneering Says Public Health Group

Energy Efficiency Report ‘Pioneering’ Says Public Health Group

Embargoed to 2pm, Tuesday 7 November 2006

The Public Health Advisory Committee (PHAC) is welcoming a report that looks at how energy decisions affect health and wellbeing.

The report, Healthy, wealthy and wise, released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says that energy efficient homes mean better health, as well as lower power bills and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases.

PHAC Chair, Geoff Fougere, says the report is pioneering in using health impact assessment (HIA) to assess the health effects of energy policy choices. HIA is an approach that is increasingly being used by policy makers so they can identify and address the health implications of various policies and programmes.

“This report shows how taking health effects into account means smarter policy making in this and other policy areas, such as transport and urban design.”

The report’s recommendations include that new homes are designed and built to be more energy efficient; people are helped to make energy-efficient choices in their homes; and greater effort goes into retrofitting older homes so that people living in them can be warm, dry and comfortable.

“If the recommendations are implemented, and homes become more energy efficient, we would expect to see a reduction in respiratory and other illness, and fewer doctor and hospital visits,” he says.

The PHAC is a sub-committee of the National Health Committee. It provides the Minister of Health with independent advice on public health issues.


ENDS

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