James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Govt plan to foster smart energy use

Energy Minister Simon Bridges said businesses use about 70 per cent of New Zealand's total energy. Photo / APN
Energy Minister Simon Bridges said businesses use about 70 per cent of New Zealand's total energy. Photo / APN

The Government will today announce energy-efficiency plans it says will improve business productivity and reduce carbon emissions while saving money.

Energy Minister Simon Bridges expects that the $3.8 million put into three initiatives for the energy sector will save businesses and households $30 million over the lifetime of the investments.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority initiatives aim to improve efficiencies for meat- and dairy-plant operators, improve heavy vehicle operators' fuel usage and increase the use of fuel-efficient tyres through an information campaign.

Mr Bridges said the programmes would demonstrate how efficient energy use could save money, boost productivity and reduce emissions.

He said businesses use about 70 per cent of New Zealand's total energy, which is worth around $8 billion each year.

But many businesses and consumers were not making smarter environmental choices because of a lack of awareness and information.

The initiatives would bridge that gap through campaigns, energy audits, training workshops and industry partnerships to improve heat processes and fuel efficiency.

Mr Bridges said the initiatives would bring benefits such as emissions reductions, increased productivity and competitiveness.

"They're not subsidies - it's very much information and advice," he said. "We want to see businesses do these smart things themselves and these things are stepping stones to a lower-emission future."

- NZ Herald

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