A media war on energy wasters has been launched in Beijing.
Last week, two telephone hotlines were set up by the Beijing Municipal Commission for Development and Reform for anyone to report companies or individuals who waste energy or water - and once the report is made, local media will be notified and will run "name and shame" stories about the culprits. The name and shame campaign is scheduled to run until the end of June.
The campaign coincides with the onset of summer, which is typically a time of peak energy consumption with air conditioners and electric fans being turned on to battle the suffocating heat.
"In fact, two hotlines are not enough," said Guo Dehong, who answers the telephone at the resource conservation centre affiliated with the Beijing Municipal Commission for Development and Reform.
Most of the complaints he receives are about leaking taps and lights turned on round-the-clock at building sites.
He remembers one complaint, made about a tap that ran 24 hours a day for a year at a colliery in Daxing District.
"Cases like this are to be reported to the relevant authorities and put under the media spotlight," Guo said.
Beijing's power resources have reached desperately low levels, said Liu Yinchun, an official with the commission.
The city relies a great deal on resources from other provinces. About 70 percent of its power, 95 percent of coal, 100 percent of natural gas, and 80 percent of crude oil supplies are imported.
North China's Hebei and Shanxi provinces and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region are the major sources of power for Beijing.
"Beijing is about 1 million kilowatts short of satisfying its total demand of about 10.7 million kilowatts this year," said Chen Tiecheng, chief of the coal and power division with the commission.
(China Daily May 31, 2005)