Tuesday, June 12, 2012

HK Updates: Government to implement energy saving recommendations proposed by Council for Sustainable Development

Government to implement energy saving recommendations proposed by Council for Sustainable Development 

 The Environment Bureau (ENB) today (June 7) provided a detailed response to the report of the Council for Sustainable Development (SDC) on "Combating Climate Change: Energy Saving and Carbon Emission Reduction in Buildings".

     "The Government fully recognises the importance of demand-side management of electricity consumption and has spared no effort in promoting energy efficiency and carbon reduction. We are grateful for the SDC's recommendations, which are valuable pointers on how we can enhance our work. We agree with the SDC report and will take concrete action to implement all the recommendations therein," said the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau.

Highlights of the ENB response include the following:

* Enhancing public education and promotion - In order to instigate behavioural change in the community, the Government will launch a territory-wide campaign to encourage energy conservation. Earlier today, the ENB and the SDC jointly held a publicity event to launch a new logo and tagline on energy saving, under which the Government will be working with different sectors to organise publicity activities targeted at the general community as well as specific audience groups. The event also featured a signing ceremony under the Energy Saving Charter, which invites developers and management companies to pledge to maintain the average indoor temperature at their shopping malls between 24 and 26 degrees Celcius during the months June to September 2012. Over 80 shopping malls across the territory will take part.

* Providing more information on electricity consumption - The Government has liaised with the two power companies to provide more information in electricity bills to enable the public to better understand and manage their electricity consumption. Apart from past consumption data for individual domestic customers, the power companies also plan to include information on the average electricity consumption per person per month for all domestic customers, and the carbon dioxide emission per unit of electricity consumed.

* Promoting carbon audits - The Government will launch a three-year programme in the second half of 2012 to conduct energy-cum-carbon audits in around 120 public buildings and facilities which have a relatively high level of electricity consumption. With funding support from the Environment and Conservation Fund, the Hong Kong Productivity Council is also rolling out a "CarbonSmart" programme to provide a subsidy of up to $30,000 on a matching basis to around 200 companies to incentivise the commercial sector, in particular SMEs, to conduct energy-cum-carbon audits.

* Continuously enhancing energy efficiency - The Building Energy Code (BEC) was tightened in February 2012. The Government will proceed with the review of the standards for lighting installations upon commencement of the full operation of the new code in September 2012, with a view to completing and implementing the outcome by the fourth quarter of 2013. Other standards stipulated in the BEC will be put under regular review every three years. It will also review the scope of the Mandatory Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme, and the existing grading standards for air conditioners and refrigerators.

* Promoting green buildings - The Government fully agrees with the various SDC recommendations to promote the development of green buildings in Hong Kong. It will continue to work closely with professional bodies and promote the adoption of a green buildings rating and certification system.

     "The Government will see to the implementation of the recommendations set out in the report, and we look forward to the SDC's continuous support for the cause of sustainable development," said Mr Yau.

     Mr Yau also expressed his gratitude to the SDC Chairman, Mr Bernard Chan, members of the SDC and its Strategy Sub-committee, and experts of the Support Group for their efforts in conducting the public engagement exercise, which has helped enhance public awareness of the importance of demand-side management of electricity consumption in combating climate change. 

Ends/Thursday, June 7, 2012

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