“The condescending taxpayer-funded campaign for five-minute showers highlights why the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority is unnecessary – and ACT’s alternative budget, released last week, proposed to scrap it”, says ACT’s Climate Change Spokesperson Simon Court.

“EECA’s main ‘jobs’ are giving unnecessary handouts and lecturing New Zealanders with propaganda.

EECA receives $79 million from the taxpayer each year to ‘promote’ energy efficiency.

“EECA runs the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) Fund. That fund is totally unnecessary and wasteful given we have a capped ETS. Any reductions in emissions outside of the ETS, for example through the GIDI Fund, simply frees up credits for other emitters, leaving total emissions unchanged.

“EECA also has a history of wasteful propaganda. In June 2022, ACT revealed that EECA had spent almost $600,000 for a 30-second video lecturing people to be on the ‘right side’ of climate change.

“The propaganda video was produced by GENLESS, a campaign run by EECA to persuade people to use less energy. It described itself as ‘a way of thinking and choice to act’, whatever that means.

“The video, titled ‘Will we be on the right side of history?’, showed photos of historic world events and cost $330,671 to produce and $246,453 to promote.

“Behaviour is much more effectively driven by price signals created by the ETS, not taxpayer-funded propaganda. Is someone more likely to have a shorter shower because electricity costs more, or because EECA told them to be on the right side of history?

“Labour’s nationwide campaign to lecture people to have shorter showers should be the final straw. New Zealanders don’t need to be told to turn their appliances off. We’re in a cost of living crisis and they know every cent counts.

“The only upside to this nationwide campaign is that every New Zealander is going to get a chance to see how condescending and out of touch Wellington bureaucrats are.

New Zealanders should be asking why they are funding EECA to exist. ACT would scrap it and return $79 million to the taxpayer.”

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