The government will continue offering subsidies to individuals and businesses to encourage more environmentally friendly practices, said Xie Zhenhua, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, at a press conference on March 10 on the sidelines of the annual parliament session.
Individuals will keep receiving subsidies for buying energy saving products, such as cars, lights, air conditioners, while businesses can still receive subsidies for energy-saving production.
"Individuals and businesses that use energy-saving lights can get a 50-percent grant and 30-percent grant respectively, from the central government, and Beijing residents can get another 40-percent grant from the Beijing municipal government," Xie said. "So actually they can buy an energy saving light bulb for 1 yuan (US$0.15)."
Under the policy, 150 million energy-saving light bulbs were installed in 2009. The government estimates that another 150 million will be used this year and that they will replace all incandescent bulbs in a few years, saving China 48 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, Xie said.
China will also continue financial and tax incentives for businesses that make an effort to save energy, recycle and reduce carbon emissions and pollution. There are also grants for businesses involved in improving energy-efficient technologies.