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Public sector approaches power savings target

Sunday, 26 August 2001 Media Statement

Public sector approaches electricity savings target


Government agencies cut electricity use by 12 percent on average over the first two weeks of savings initiatives, Energy Minister Pete Hodgson said today.

Instructions went out to public sector agencies in the week ending August 3 to find ways to save 15 percent of their usual electricity use. New Zealanders are being asked to save 10 percent over 10 weeks, but the public sector has been directed by the Government to show leadership by meeting the higher target.

In the first week of reports, for the week ending 10 August, a sample of government organisations reported savings of 8 percent. In the following week, ending 17 August, reported savings climbed to 17 percent.

“Most of the government organisations that have provided reports made savings in the second week of the campaign of between 5 percent and 25 percent," Mr Hodgson said. "Several organisations reported weekly savings of over 50 percent from their normal demand on external supply as a result of using standby generators."

The savings figures are based on reports from 26 large government organisations including hospitals, universities and crown research institutes. Mr Hodgson said he expected the volume of reports to increase in coming weeks, providing more comprehensive weekly savings figures.

Mr Hodgson said although the public sector had not reached the 15 percent savings target on average over the two weeks the improvement to 17 percent in the second week was creditable. National savings in that week were well under 10 percent due to very cold weather.

Capital Coast District Health Board and Industrial Research Limited cut grid-supplied electricity use by 51 percent and 62 percent respectively by using standby generators. New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited ran its co-generation plant 24 hours a day to cut electricity consumption by 60 percent.

The Department of Courts in Manukau made a 16 percent saving by switching off computers after work, making more use of daylight instead of interior lights, switching on corridor lighting at 9am rather than 7.30am, using sensor controls for lighting and switching lights off in unoccupied areas.

The Crop & Food Crown Research Institute made a 16 percent saving by switching lights and equipment off when not in use and using less electric heating.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is monitoring government sector electricity savings and will be producing weekly reports.


ENDS

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