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EECA to look at LEDs in all housing

EECA to look at LEDs in all housing

First published in Energy and Environment on October 17, 2019.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority is looking at whether it would be feasible to replace all household lighting with LEDs and its minister wants it to do more work on getting communities to develop their own renewable energy projects.

EECA’s statement of performance expectations for 2019/20 says it will trial and evaluate at least one delivery mechanism for providing LED lighting to low income households and provide more information for households to make informed decisions about energy-related technologies and behaviours.

One measure of success will be “at least 25% of people surveyed say most or virtually all of their lighting is LEDs” and EECA will “investigate the case for the replacement of all household lighting to LEDs”.

EECA is also to identify an effective mechanism for delivering subsidised LED lighting to low-income households to improve their energy efficiency (and reduce this household cost) as well as reducing peak demand.

It will also look at the feasibility of replacing all household lighting with LEDs.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment believe the uptake of energy efficient light bulbs could already be a key driver in electricity demand not increasing despite a higher population. Before 2008, the share of filament light bulbs hovered around 50%, but by 2018, the expenditure share of filament bulbs had fallen to around 10%.

MBIE estimates replacing incandescent bulbs with CFL and LED light bulbs over the period from 2009 to 2018 would lower residential electricity consumption in the order of 2-3%.

EECA says if all NZers switch to available energy efficient technologies, such as LED lighting and heat pumps, “we could halve the need for new electricity generation to meet NZ’s ambitious renewable electricity goals”.

EECA’s big ticket item is to co-invest $37.1m in insulation and heating retrofits in qualifying homes. Success will be measured by at least 16,000 insulation or heating retrofits being installed and 95% of sampled retrofits complying with the installation standard.

Earlier this year Energy and Environment reported EECA’s subtle shift from emphasising how businesses and households could save money by using energy more efficiently to one where it reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

This theme is continued in EECA’s statement of performance expectations by saying it will “engage hearts and minds” in this area.

“We are developing communications campaigns to motivate NZers to expect and demand goods and services with a lighter carbon footprint, and to take action to reduce their own energy-related emissions.

“We aim to help people contribute to the overall change they want to see, by supporting them in their understanding of how their individual energy-related choices can collectively make a powerful difference.

“We also aim to help NZers experience and recognise the multiple benefits that the efficient use of sustainable energy delivers for their own lives. This includes reduced energy costs and improved quality of energy services, health and wellbeing, mobility, cleaner urban and natural environments and economic opportunity. By doing so, we aim to increase the priority placed on energy efficiency and sustainable energy as tools for achieving other, broader, personal and social outcomes.”

It also plans to deliver a communication campaign to business demonstrating the importance of reducing energy-related emissions.

EECA also said the Minister of Energy and Resources asked in her 2019/20 Letter of Owner’s Expectations, for EECA “to consider the role we could play in supporting communities to understand and select the most effective energy solutions for their circumstances, and to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. In 2019/20, we will provide advice to the Minister on this matter.”
First published in Energy and Environment on October 17, 2019.

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