Uptake of energy efficient products saves New Zealand millions
Consumer and business uptake of energy efficient appliances has resulted in energy savings of more than $96 million in a one-year period, according to analysis of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority's (EECA) Products Programme.
EECA's Energy Efficient Products Manager Eddie Thompson says EECA calculated the energy savings for the year ending March 2014 by tracking improvements in the energy efficiency of products through sales information, as well as analysing how much businesses and households are avoiding in energy costs by using more efficient appliances.
"These electricity savings are the equivalent of the electricity used in a year by over 130,000 New Zealand homes."
Mr Thompson says nearly eight million energy efficient products have been sold over the year (about 1.6 million large consumer and industrial products and 6.3 million lighting and small electronics), an increase of three percent compared to the previous year. Forty seven million energy efficiency products have been sold since 2002, bringing total savings to $450 million, he says.
"New Zealand products are becoming increasingly energy efficient, mainly as a result of minimum energy performance standards developed jointly with the Australian Government. Minimum energy standards allow New Zealand to make gains in energy efficiency, at low-cost to government and industry, with little impact on consumer choice."
Improved energy efficiency standards, along with New Zealanders choosing more energy efficient ENERGY STAR qualified products, have resulted in national benefits, Mr Thompson says.
"ENERGY STAR qualified fridge/freezers, which use up to 40 percent less energy than a standard model, are a good example of the opportunities for consumers to save on running costs. These energy savings at a household level translate into major savings for the New Zealand economy."
Mr Thompson says minimum energy performance standards work in combination with consumer education, with the ENERGY STAR mark and energy rating labels making it easy for business and households to make informed choices about energy efficient products.