Progress on energy resilience

The new Queenstown Lakes District Council is likely to be asked to help carry out more research into the district's future energy needs.

After eight months' work, a volunteer ''Energy Futures Task Force'' operating under the ''Shaping Our Future'' organisation has almost completed a discussion paper designed to identify how the district can be more energy ''resilient''.

A draft of the task force's document was presented at a recent public forum and steering committee member Maggie Lawton said it would soon be put to the council.

The document notes that defining the district's ''energy profile'' was difficult without dedicated resources and ready access to data.

She said there was a lot more work to do and hoped the document would lead to a mandate from the council allowing work to continue.

''You can imagine with energy there's a lot involved and there are a lot of people who might have a stake in it. We are not going to be moving forward and doing huge amounts overnight, but this [the document] is a milestone.''

The document recommends work be done on defining the energy profile of the district, understanding the relationship between energy demand and the ''built environment'', examining regulations and new energy technology and examining the means of creating energy resilience.

Ms Lawton said there were ways to improve energy performance of homes through good subdivision and house design and the use of better materials.

''Those are things which we could be doing almost straight away, through a whole range of initiatives.''

Ms Lawton said government regulation set only the bottom line on such things as insulation.

''To actually have a really good house, you probably want to go well beyond what government says.''

Ms Lawton said the task force would continue and lay people were welcome to contribute.

- mark.price@odt.co.nz

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