Sunday, June 8, 2008

Kiwis shivering to save electricity

In view of the possibility of power cuts in New Zealand this winter, because of the fall in hydro lake levels to 50 percent of average for this time of year, I'm glad we have a wood-burning stove - something that will not only keep us warm, but on which we can also heat a pan of water, if necessary.

Thanks to a reasonable income, we also don't have to worry too much about rising electricity prices. These are hitting many people hard, if the results of a recent survey, announced today, are anything to go by.

The poll, by Research New Zealand, found that 68 percent of households with an annual income of under $40,000 are cutting back on power use. The figure for those in the $70,000-plus bracket is not much lower at 55 percent.

The findings have raised fears of a rise in health problems among people living in inadequately heated homes.

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