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Energy Minister Urged to Consider Early Daylight Saving

Posted on 14 Aug 2001

ACT Energy Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff has today written to Minister Pete Hodgson, urging him to consider bringing the start of daylight saving forward as a power saving measure.

"Daylight saving's due to start on October 7 – I'm suggesting we bring it forward to September 1.

"Statistics provided to me by the electricity industry show that an overall power reduction of 3.5 percent occurred in the first week of daylight saving last year, while in the past three years the average reduction in that first week has been just under 2 percent.

"Even better, last year the first week of daylight saving saw peak evening consumption drop a whopping 7.5 percent, while the average reduction in the past three years has been just under 5.5 percent.

"I'm not saying bringing daylight saving forward five weeks would be a panacea for our urgent power problems – but it would be a help – and surely anything that would help should be seriously considered.

"The 10 percent power saving the Minister has targeted maybe sufficient to 'get us through' to the end of the year, but it doesn't end there.

"Unless we get a particularly wet summer, it is my view that, with the low level of the lakes, our problems next winter could be even more severe.

"We need to consider any measure that will reduce consumption. The natural effects of daylight saving are one relatively painless way in which we could all contribute.

"I hope the Minister and his Government give urgent and serious consideration to my proposal," Gerry Eckhoff said.