China is encouraging officials to spare some of their attention,
usually focused on GDP growth, for energy conservation.
Zhejiang, an economically booming province in the country's
east, has decided to add energy efficiency to the evaluation system
on local officials' performance.
Eleven mayors and 58 county heads in the province have recently
been appointed as top officials in charge of local energy-saving
The new indicator is intended to encourage officials to score
more by lowering enterprises' costs, promoting technological
innovation and adjusting industrial structures for energy and
ecological security, according to Lu Zushan, the province's
The coastal province, like most developed areas in the country,
is suffering from a sharp conflict between energy shortage and
The average per capita GDP in Zhejiang exceeded 3,400 U.S.
dollars in 2005, while 95 percent of its resources relied on
imports or transfer from other places in China.
The province has set a goal which requires the energy
consumption per unit of GDP in 2010 decline by 15 percent from
2005, Lu said.
Some government officials used to be indifferent to energy
conservation, as exemplified by their ignorance of energy wasting
in government buildings they worked every day.
A survey showed that the daily per capita electricity
consumption by the provincial administration center building in
2004 was nine times that of common residential buildings.
The building was later driven to upgrade its energy-saving
measures, including raising the temperatures of air-conditions,
using central heating system and power-saving lights.
(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2006)