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Published: 2002-12-16 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has joined the EnergyWise Councils partnership to promote efficient energy use in the Region.

The Council signed a memorandum of understanding this week with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), one of 14 councils to join the programme. EECA was set up by the Ministry of Economic Development.

Chairman Neil Clarke said the Council had a long-term interest in the efficient use of energy, recognising its importance in its Regional Policy Statement.

“Energy efficiency and conservation is critical to the reduction of adverse environmental effects, and we recognise the contribution local government can make as well as the need for a whole of Government response to climate change issues.”

There were sound reasons for reducing energy use, both as an organisation and within the Region. The generation and supply of energy could have some sort of environmental effects which were often negative, so that any reduction in energy use would reduce the environmental effects.

“We have committed to the development of an energy strategy for Environment Waikato and the Region and the signing of this agreement marks the initial steps of this partnership. We will be encouraging simple things to reduce the amount of energy we use.”

He said Environment Waikato had already made considerable savings in energy use in its own buildings and operation of vehicles.

“Apart from the obvious financial benefits we see the development of an energy strategy as an important component of our corporate responsibility to sustainable development and addressing the effects we are having on the climate through energy use.”

EECA chairman Mike Underhill said Environment Waikato had already been a member of EnergyWise Companies since 1996. His organisation had realised that unless there was a partnership with local leaders it could not achieve its aims.

“It is not that difficult to change. It just means changing slightly the way you do things.”

He presented Mr Clarke with a pair of “energy efficient” walking socks.