Huge boost for energy efficiency in climate package

  • David Parker
Climate Change Issues

A one billion dollar household energy efficiency fund, a one-off electricity rebate to all New Zealand households, and a targeted one off cash payment are part of a substantial climate change package announced by the government today.

The energy initiatives will help New Zealanders use less energy and assist them to pay their power bills in a world where energy prices are increasing, Climate Change and Energy Minister David Parker said.

“We are establishing a one billion dollar fund to help New Zealanders make the most efficient use of energy possible. The fund will be targeted according to energy needs and income. These extra efficiency measures will start in 2009, a year ahead of electricity coming into the Emissions Trading Scheme.

“This constitutes the biggest ever investment in household energy efficiency in New Zealand’s history,” the Minister said.

“This is a great example of how actions to tackle climate change can benefit us in other ways too. This investment will mean more New Zealanders than ever before can enjoy the benefits of a well-insulated home and efficient heating. It helps New Zealanders improve the environment and reduce their energy costs.”

The Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable Preference) Bill will return to Parliament for a second reading, following an agreement on a climate change package with support parties.

“The Labour-led government is committed to action on climate change but we will also ensure the economic impact on households is moderated, particularly for our most vulnerable,” Energy and Climate Change Minister David Parker said.

“All households will receive a one-off electricity rebate in 2010 to assist with power bills, and those receiving benefits, superannuation and Working for Families tax credits will also receive a targeted one off cash payment.”

The financial assistance will be broadly equivalent to the total amount of the increased electricity costs faced by the household sector in the first year of electricity’s introduction into the Emissions Trading Scheme in 2010, David Parker said.