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Steady progress on energy targets

Mon, 20 Dec 2004

Steady progress on energy targets

Progress but more to be done on energy efficiency and conservation targets

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The second year results for the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NEECS) are released today. The results to March 2003 show that energy efficiency has improved only one per cent over two years but that 20 per cent of the renewable energy target has already been met.

"While there are still many issues to resolve around the quality of the energy efficiency data we have, the message is clear, we must do more," says Energy Minister, Pete Hodgson.

The NEECS targets are for energy efficiency to have improved by 20 per cent by 2012 and for renewable energy to contribute an additional 30 petajoules of energy. The targets cover all areas of the economy including transport, domestic and commercial energy consumption.

Since March 2003, the government has taken many significant steps that contribute to meeting the targets. In the transport sector, this includes new legislation, a restructuring of the sector and the announcement of an $18.7 billion spending package. All of these measures should lead towards improving the overall efficiency of the sector.

Domestic and commercial energy efficiency measures have also been boosted. More money has been put into the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and the Electricity Commission is looking to implement a $22 million energy efficiency programme. Large businesses are being encouraged to improve energy efficiency, at the same time as reducing emissions, through the Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements scheme.

Energy efficiency was also highlighted as an area requiring further work in the recently released Sustainable Energy discussion document.

Government is also supporting the growth of renewable energy. If all the renewable energy schemes successful in its Projects to Reduce Emissions programme proceed, they could contribute around 13PJ to the NEECS target.

"Energy efficiency can help increase security of supply, reduce the pressure to build expensive new generation sooner than we otherwise might and can help protect the environment. We need to secure these gains at the same time as supporting sustainable economic growth and improving standards of living," says Energy Minister, Pete Hodgson.

ENDS

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