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LCQ14: Efficiency labelling scheme

Following is a question by the Hon Frederick Fung and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works, Dr Sarah Liao, at the Legislative Council meeting today (May 2):

Question:

The Consumer Council (CC) recently tested nine refrigerator samples bearing energy labels under the voluntary energy efficiency labelling scheme operated by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, and the energy efficiency of three of the samples was found not up to the grades listed on the labels. At the same time, CC offered electricity-saving tips for using refrigerators. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether in the past five years:

(a) it had tested the above and other products bearing energy labels; if so, of the test results (including the percentage of products the energy efficiency of which was consistent with the grades listed on the labels), and whether manufacturers or importers were found to have used the above scheme to mislead consumers into believing that their products had higher energy efficiency; and

(b) apart from the above scheme, whether there were other measures to promote among the public energy conservation and energy-efficient use of electrical appliances; if so, of the details of such measures and the expenditure involved?

Reply:

Madam President,

(a) The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) conducts random sample testing on products listed under the voluntary Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme (EELS) to check whether their energy efficiency is consistent with the grades specified on the labels. In the past five years, the EMSD conducted sample testing on 91 models of household appliances, 84% of which were found to have energy efficiency grades consistent with those specified on the labels. The EMSD will inform the corresponding manufacturers or importers if the test results of their products are inconsistent with the grades specified on the labels, and follow up with them on the grading of the labels.

The voluntary EELS operated by the EMSD has a comprehensive registration mechanism in place, including requiring the manufacturers or importers of the products to submit to the EMSD test reports on energy efficiency issued by accredited laboratories. The differences in the results of the random sample tests and the energy efficiency grades on the labels found in the past were due to irregularities in the manufacturing process of the products, causing inconsistency between the energy efficiency performance of the products and the test results submitted during the registration of the products under the voluntary EELS.

(b) Our policy objective is to increase and sustain conservation of energy in order to reduce the growing trend of energy use. To achieve this objective, the Energy Efficiency Office was set up under the EMSD in 1994 to promote energy conservation and coordinate Government's efforts in this area. Government bureaux and departments have been taking the lead in energy conservation. Over the past 13 years, the Energy Efficiency Office of the EMSD has been implementing a range of programmes and initiatives to promote energy saving, including:

(a) implementing a number of voluntary energy efficiency registration schemes such as the Hong Kong Energy Efficiency Registration Scheme for Buildings and the EELS;

(b) promoting effective energy management methods. For example, the EMSD conducted 90 energy audits in Government buildings over the past three years, encouraged Government departments to implement energy saving management measures and installed energy saving equipment in Government premises;

(c) introducing energy saving technologies to the public;

(d) promoting water-cooled air-conditioning systems;

(e) establishing energy end-use database and energy consumption benchmarks and indicators to monitor energy uses in Hong Kong; and

(f) organising various public education and promotional activities.

In the past five years, the EMSD's financial provisions under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation, and Renewable Energy Programme are as follows:

Year                       Financial Provision ($m)
*****               ************************
2002/03                        62.2
2003/04                        40
2004/05                        36.6
2005/06                        81.2
2006/07                       106.7

Ends/Wednesday, May 2, 2007


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