25 July 2012

Environment Commissioner welcomes common sense electricity report

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright is welcoming a report by the Energy Networks Association that recommends fixing regulations to encourage smart electricity networks.

These smart networks allow communication between electricity companies and individual meters and appliances and offer significant environmental and economic gains.

Dr Wright says the need for smart networks is becoming more urgent.

"New Zealand's peak electricity continues to grow which means we're going to have to choose between building more environmentally damaging fossil fuel power plants, managing our demand better, or enduring power failures.

"Clearly the most attractive option is managing our demand, and a smart network offers ways to do that that don't noticeably affect electricity users.

Unfortunately there's no way we'll get the benefits of a smart network while the electricity industry is regulated as it is currently  I'm pleased to see the ENA report making that very clear.

"I've touched on some of these problems in my latest report which is due out tomorrow."

Dr Wright's latest report on New Zealand's electricity system, Evaluating solar water heating: Sun, renewable energy, and climate change, will be tabled in Parliament tomorrow.