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Budget spells doom for energy efficiency & conservation

Budget spells doom for energy efficiency and energy conservation

The National-led Government intends to abolish the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA) next week, Labour's Environment spokesperson Charles Chauvel says.

"A number of well-placed sources have confirmed that budget legislation, which doesn't go to a select committee for public input, will merge EECA into the Ministry of Economic Development late next week.

"If EECA is abolished next week, the move will speak volumes about this Government's commitment to Energy Efficiency and Conservation", Charles Chauvel says.

"EECA has done excellent work to promote the Warm Up NZ programme, which began life as Labour's home insulation scheme. Promoting efficient energy use, and energy savings, should be a core issue for any New Zealand Government. Instead, National has kneecapped energy efficiency at every opportunity.

"First, they scrapped the phase-in of energy efficient light bulbs, something every other developed county is doing. Then they refused to promote smart metering in homes and businesses, so consumers could decide when to run appliances on cheap power rates. Then they came up with "more market" solutions to higher energy prices, which have not only failed to deliver, but have led to outrageous hourly charges by state power company Genesis.

"Now, thanks to having an acting minister of energy, who has been unable to defend her patch against budget cuts, we have the final nail in the coffin of energy efficiency with the abolition of EECA.

"I hope we won't see the demise of EECA next week. If we do, the next Labour-led Government will restore EECA, and give it a proper leadership role, at the earliest opportunity", Charles Chauvel said.

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