Hong Kong's Building Energy Efficiency Initiatives

THE Hong Kong Government announced yesterday that the three-year Buildings Energy Efficiency Funding Schemes launched in  April, 2009, will close on April 7.

With $450 million(US$58M) allocated by the Hong Kong Environment and Conservation Committee, the subsidy schemes have aimed to encourage building owners to upgrade the energy efficiency performance of their buildings. The schemes were scheduled to last for three years or until the allocation of $450 million was fully utilised, whichever came first.

A spokesman for the  Environment Bureau said: "The schemes have been successful in achieving their intended objectives of promoting building owners' awareness of the benefits of building energy efficiency and encouraging them to take concrete action to seek improvements.

“Close to 1,600 applications, have been received under the schemes. Among them, over 870 applications have been approved with subsidies amounting to over $350 million (US$45M), benefiting over 5,700 buildings in total. This means that more than one in eight buildings in Hong Kong have benefited from the schemes. The estimated total electricity savings amount to 150 million kWh per annum, which corresponds to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by about 105,000 tonnes.

"The schemes have also been successful in motivating relevant sectors to grasp the business opportunities in building energy efficiency.

“Since the launch of the Schemes, over 20 training courses on energy and carbon audits have been offered for about 1,200 people by various training institutes and organisations. With active services provided by the engineering sector and facilitation by the property management sector, building owners are well supported in pursuing energy efficiency initiatives for their buildings. 

"The Government remains committed to promoting energy efficiency. Among other things, the new Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance will come into full effect in September 2012, to mandate the minimum energy performance standards for four major types of building services installations and energy audits in specified buildings.

“The (Hong Kong) Government has already tightened the Building Energy Codes. It has also proposed to conduct carbon audits in major Government buildings and public facilities, and encourage the business sector to participate through collaboration with major chambers of commerce and supporting organisations.

“Having concluded its public engagement exercise in December 2011, the Council for Sustainable Development will come up with some recommendations in the next couple of months for systemic enhancement and promotion of behavioural changes for enhancing building energy efficiency," the spokesman concluded.

Under the schemes, subsidies are provided on a matching basis to building owners to carry out energy and carbon audits and projects to upgrade the energy efficiency performance of building services installations for communal use in the buildings. The amount of subsidies is capped at $150,000 (US$19,300) per building per application for an ECA, and $500,000 (US$64,500) for a project to upgrade EEP.

Hong Kong Skyline by Diliff (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday 21st February 2012

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