Online system to help NZ businesses develop energy-saving plans

A NEW internet-based diagnostic tool will help New Zealand’s small-to-medium businesses save on energy costs and help offset the economic impact of the government’s carbon tax, says energy minister Trevor Mallard.

The minister yesterday launched Energy Challenger – an internet-based diagnostic program designed to help business identify and implement actions to reduce unnecessary energy use.

"Rising energy costs over several years mean energy management is now an important factor for any small to medium enterprise,” said Mallard.

“Reducing energy use is also a way for these businesses to mitigate the impact of the forthcoming carbon tax as many businesses can achieve savings on energy costs of up to 15% with better energy management.”

The NZ$15 per tonne tax will be implemented from April 2007.

The government, through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, partnered with retailers Contact Energy, Mercury Energy, and Meridian Energy for the nationwide roll-out of the program to businesses.

Energy Challenger – which was developed by international energy consultants Energetics – enabled businesses that spent $50,000 to $500,000 on energy annually to develop an immediate energy management action plan to reduce costs after a 10-15 minute diagnosis.

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