New Initiatives to Promote Energy Efficiency

To address the increases in the local consumption in electricity and automotive oil products, the Government will enhance existing voluntary schemes and implement a number of new initiatives to improve energy efficiency of the commercial and transport sectors.

In addition, the potential of using renewable energy to meet part of the energy demand will be examined and a pilot programme will be undertaken to assess the performance of renewable energy producing equipment under local conditions, Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Kim Salkeld, said today (Tuesday).

Speaking at a press conference on new initiatives to promote energy conservation, Mr Salkeld revealed that in the 10 years between 1987 and 1997, consumption of electricity and automotive oil products have increased by 64 per cent and 81 per cent respectively.

"With the publication of measures such as the Building Energy Codes and the implementation of the various aspects of the Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme, we are approaching the limits of what can be achieved using voluntary approaches to cut down on energy consumption," Mr Salkeld warned.

"We believe it is time to consider the introduction of energy efficiency and conservation legislation. We intend to examine the options in 2000 and the community will be consulted in 2001," he added.

Also speaking at the press conference, Chairman of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Subcommittee of the Energy Advisory Committee, Mr Otto Poon Lok-to, said Hong Kong's energy consumption situation had adversely impacted on the environment.

Mr Poon said that achieving energy efficiency would save money, cut costs and reduce polluting emissions. He called on the private sector to join a partnership with the Government to promote energy efficiency.

Outlining the new initiatives to be implemented in the public, commercial, residential and transport sectors in the coming years, Chief Engineer of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Mr Lam Kam-kuen, said the Government plans to carry out sectoral energy end-use surveys so as to collect up-to-date information in further enhancing the database updating work.

A residential household energy consumption survey would be conducted in 2000/01, Mr Lam said.

To develop energy consumption indicators and targets for selected segments in the transport and commercial sectors, a consultancy study will be commissioned in the same period to establish current energy consumption benchmarks and future energy consumption targets.

A preliminary literature survey on existing overseas experiences in promoting energy efficiency and conservation in the transport sector has commenced to devise a new energy efficiency labelling scheme for vehicles by end 2000.

Referring to the territorial and district studies for implementing water-cooled air conditioning systems, Mr Lam said, "The target is to formulate a master development plan and the control requirements for the phased implementation of water-cooled air conditioning."

"We intend to conduct three further implementation studies."

"We will also examine the way to overcome the problems and constraints to allow for implementing water-cooled air conditioning in a new reclamation district and an existing district," he added.

The proposed implementation studies include:

* Territorial Study for Implementing Water-cooled Air Conditioning Systems (late 2000);

* District Study for Implementing Water-cooled Air Conditioning Systems in South East Kowloon Development (late 2000/early 2001); and

* District Study for Implementing Water-cooled Air Conditioning Systems in Existing Causeway Bay and Wan Chai District (early 2001).

The Energy Efficiency Office also proposes to commission by end 2000 a study to assess the potential applications and uses of renewable energy resources in Hong Kong with special reference to photovoltaic technologies suitable to provide small-scale electrical power generation.

A pilot project will be carried out using photovoltaic panels and solar heating panels to meet part of the electrical energy demands of a government office building.

"This will be a joint programme between Economic Services Bureau and the Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau," Mr Lam said.

End/Tuesday, October 26, 1999