Buildings in HK account for 89% of the city’s electricity generation. Hence, managing electricity demand and promoting energy efficiency for buildings in HK are effective tools to reduce energy consumption which is one of the important contributing factors to climate change. Reducing electricity consumption through using more energy efficient electrical appliances is another effective means to address climate change.
The policy tools the HK government has been using to achieve the goals above are:
– Regulations –
1) Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance
Since 21st September 2012, the Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance has come into full operation. The requirements of the ordinance are:
a) The developers or building owners of newly constructed buildings should ensure that the buildings services installations including air-conditioning installation, lighting installation, electrical installation and escalator installation comply with the design standards of the Building Energy Code (BEC)
b) The responsible persons (i.e. owners, tenants or occupiers etc.) in buildings should ensure that the 4 key types of building services installation therein comply with the design standards of the BEC when “major retrofitting works” (over 500 square meters) are carried out.
c) The owners of commercial buildings should carry out energy audit for the 4 key types of central building services installation therein in accordance with the Energy Audit Code (EAC) every 10 years.
However, BEC could only help Hong Kong saves 2.8 billion kWh of electricity in the first decade of implementation. It is believe that the BEC is able to serve as the “minimum energy efficiency standard” for the developers and building owners to follow. The government should uplift the standard in BEC within 2-3 years to articulate with more energy saving.
2) Building Regulation (Energy Efficiency)
2a. Overall Thermal Transfer Value (OTTV)
The OTTV is a measure of the energy consumption of a building envelope. Building envelope is indeed a buffer zone between indoor area of the building and the outdoor environment. The envelope has a role to play to reduce energy consumption from air-conditioning of the building by minimizing heat transfer from outdoor environment to the indoor area of the building.
The Buildings Department promulgated practice notes for Energy Efficiency of Buildings – Building (Energy Efficiency) Regulation. The latest OTTV for Tower is within 24 W/m2 (30 W/m2 before amendment). And OTTV for Podium must not exceed 56 W/m2 (70 W/m2 before amendment). It is anticipated that such revision can save 2.4%-4.4% of energy subject to floor layout and types of air conditioning system.
2b. Energy Efficiency (Labelling of Products) Ordinance
The ordinance requires energy labels to be displayed on 5 categories of electrical appliances in HK to facilitate consumers in choosing energy-efficient electrical appliances. Appliances with a Grade 1 label attached are the most efficient models.
The 5 electrical appliances include:
a) Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
b) Refrigerating Appliances
c) Room Air Conditioners
d) Washing Machines
Beside the mandatory energy efficiency labeling system, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has been operating the “Voluntary Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme” for 20 types of appliances and equipment used both at home, office and for vehicles.
– Financial Assistance –
The HK government launched the 450 million HK dollars Building Energy Efficiency Funding Schemes (BEEFS) to provide financial support to building owners to implement energy-cum-carbon audit and energy efficiency improvement projects. According to the government figures, more than 1,400 applications with over 9,000 buildings are involved. The total electricity saving of the approved applications is estimated to be 131 million kWh per annum.
In June 2011, the Council for Sustainable Development (SDC) launched a 4-month consultation to seek the public views on 11 energy saving measures in buildings., including:
1) To consider tightening the Building Energy Code
2) To consider providing recognition for buildings achieving high energy efficiency
3) To explore extension of the application of the Mandatory Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme (MEELS)
4) To consider tightening up the energy efficiency grading levels for room air conditioners and refrigerators under the MEELS
5) To explore phasing out energy-inefficient incandescent light bulbs
6) To explore phasing out energy-inefficient electrical installations/appliances
7) To provide Energy/Carbon Audit
8) To better understanding of your energy consumption
9) To use more energy efficiency management systems
10) To promote adoption of energy-efficient electrical appliances among the trades
11) To review electricity tariff structure
The council submitted a final report to the HK government in March 2012. And the government supports the report and launched a city-wide energy saving campaign from June to September 2012 to promote energy saving. The government also invited 100 shopping malls to maintain the indoor temperature of the malls within 24oC – 26oC on average.
WGO supports the energy saving measures suggested by SDC and suggests the government to implement the measures as soon as possible.
With the hardware (link to green building) needed for a green city, Hong Kong could also be far greener by engaging the public of Hong Kong to participate in the Green HK Campaign.
The Green HK campaigns is proposed by the Green Institute, the sister organisation of the World Green organization and aims at engaging different sectors in the society to accomplish the followings missions:
- To build a harmonious relationship with nature
- To maintain a balanced environment
- To set up a model of sustainable development
- To maintain and sustain the uniqueness of every individual
The campaign composed of the following element, including:
1) Pursuing Green Culture
2) Proposing Green Ambassador
3) Engaging Green Education
4) Establishing Green Lifestyle
5) Developing Green Economy