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Business Roundtable slams efficiency plans

posted Feb 24, 2012, 11:28 PM by ema-1 ema-1   [ updated Feb 25, 2012, 1:20 AM ]


The Electricity Authority and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority released a joint consultation paper on 2012/13 appropriations late last year.

"The paper covers all Authority appropriations and those EECA and Ministry of Consumer Affairs (MCA) activities that are funded by the levy on industry participants. In addition to appropriations information, the consultation paper includes information on: The Authority’s outputs and performance measures for 2012/13; The Authority’s draft Path to CRE three year plan; and EECA’s levy-funded electricity efficiency priorities for 2012/13"

Submissions closed January 9th.

Full consultation paper:
All submissions:

The Business Roundtable / Major Electricity Users Group (joint submission)

"In our view, the EECA has failed to provide any such compelling rationale or for that matter sufficient evidence the existing programmes are money well spent. The EECA Board either has a rationale that has not been explained or the Board is unacceptably out of touch with the harsh realities facing the economy and the agenda set by the new Government for fiscal restraint"

"To put this into perspective, consider the five largest MEUG members that collectively use about 21% of total New Zealand power demand. Those five large industrial users’ will in aggregate pay $3.3m of the proposed $15.5m levy. Those five major users’ are highly incentivised to be energy efficient in order to compete, survive and innovate in export and or import substitution commodity markets.  Those five major power users’ have invested, and will continue to invest in energy efficient projects within their plant. The proposed $3.3m levy burden on those businesses will do nothing for their in-house energy efficiency projects. The levy will simply be an unavoidable fixed cost"

Full submission:,%202012-13%20draft%20appropriations,%2020-Dec-11.pdf

Rio Tinto

"Taxing all consumers of electricity to subsidise investments in improved efficiency for some consumers is a flawed policy. If these improvements are truly as cost-effective as EECA makes out then it is difficult to understand why the investments are not being made autonomously by the parties being subsidised. Is EECA claiming some businesses are irrational?  In other words, where is the market failure that this intervention is correcting?"

"NZAS [New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited], as would be expected, has a huge focus on improving electricity efficiency. The tax extracted from us for EECA’s redistribution would be more efficiently left with us to manage and implement our own efficiency improvement projects. We therefore do not support the continued funding of EECA’s electricity efficiency programme through the compulsory tax of the Electricity Levy. We also do not support the 20% increase in this fund for 2012/13"

Full submission:


"If EECA considers performance standards is an area that merits additional expenditure EECA should demonstrate it has considered reprioritising existing expenditure and provided the reasons for increasing overall budget relative to reprioritising existing expenditure"

Full submission:

Kapiti Coast District Council

"The Council supports the continuing work of ECCA including the provision of financial incentives and the introduction of improved minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for a greater variety of electrical equipment, including pumps and fans. The Council welcomes the information and training programmes on new street lighting technology already included in the draft work plan, and it looks forward to being a beneficiary of this work. Significant energy saving opportunities exist in relation to new street lighting technologies such as LED and induction lighting. The Council is planning a trial of LED streetlights, and would like to introduce minimum energy performance standards and specifications for streetlights into its subdivision principles and requirements

The Council sees a role for ECCA to assist it and other local authorities with such trials by:
  • Working with the Efficient Road Lighting Project Team (currently led by NZTA) to to ensure that independent and balanced information is made available on the new technologies so that the risks of the benefits of products being ‘oversold’ by suppliers are minimised.
  • Assisting local government make good decisions on what to buy by developing robust energy performance and quality standards.
  • Working with electricity retailers to arrive at a fair and efficient means of metering and reconciliation in relation to street lighting which has dynamic dimming control and can no longer be unmetered. The attitude and approach of some retailers can make the difference between investment in these controls being financially viable for local government or not, regardless of the actual energy savings that are possible"

Full submission: