EECA welcomes new IEA group targeting energy efficiency

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has welcomed the formation of a new global group prioritising energy efficiency policy, with New Zealand’s Energy Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods joining as a founding member.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has formed the Commission on Energy Efficiency Urgent Action to accelerate stronger policy action on energy efficiency to enable the global transition to clean energy.

The IEA says more than any single fuel, energy efficiency has a central role to play in meeting global sustainable energy goals.

EECA’s chief executive Andrew Caseley says EECA’s own analysis shows widespread uptake of energy efficiency measures could have a big impact on the electricity system by freeing up capacity for electrification of transport and process heat, and saving households money.

‘Proven technologies like LEDs, efficient heat pumps for water and space heating, and efficient motors, can all make a massive difference in our energy use,’ says Mr Caseley.

‘New Zealand’s electricity grid is already powered by an 80-85% renewable energy system. Energy efficiency could play a big role in getting that higher and increasing capacity in the system.’

‘It’s only a matter of time before we need more electricity for charging electric vehicles as they become more widespread, and many industrial boilers using oil and gas are replaced by electric boilers’ Mr Caseley says.

‘Getting clever about our energy use through efficiency will be key to ensuring we’re as low-emissions as possible’.

The IEA calculates that with the right policies, the global economy could double in size by 2040 while still maintaining broadly the same level of energy use as today, but that policy implementation has slowed and efficiency progress is weakening.

It says those policies alone would enable the world to achieve more than 40% of the emissions cuts needed to reach international climate goals using cost-effective technologies already available.

The focus of the new energy efficiency panel will be on key policy actions that can be taken by countries across the globe. It will produce a concise list of clear, actionable recommendations next year.

The IEA’s executive director Dr Faith Birol says ‘it is imperative that we get global energy efficiency progress back on track.’

See more on the global high-level commission for urgent action on energy efficiency here.