All new residential buildings to be constructed from next year on have to be energy economic as Shanghai aims to accommodate citizens and save energy.
The city will launch its first industrial regulation on energy-saving construction, according to which all local residences to be built from 2005 on must meet the energy economic standard.
"The rapid economic growth and poor utilization efficiency exacerbate the already strained energy supply," said Lin Yingqing, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Housing & Land Resources Bureau.
"We are determined to reduce energy consumption of local residences to make contributions to Shanghai's ambition to foster an energy-saving society," he added.
The amount of energy used to produce 10,000 yuan (US$1,200) of gross domestic product by the country doubles that of Japan and other developed countries.
The ratio of energy consumption of buildings against the total energy consumption in Shanghai, which reached 21 per cent, has been increasing at the rate of 1 per cent annually in recent years.
The situation is "very serious," according to Zhang Deming from the Shanghai Municipal Energy Saving Office.
To save energy, Shanghai has included 6 million square metres of residences being built this year in a energy-saving trial and currently, 4 million square metres housing have been completed, with energy-saving materials added to the facade of the buildings.
The "coating" is estimated to increase about 10 per cent of the cost to developers who will be fined if they do not follow the energy-saving regulation.
"The energy-saving buildings benefit both the country and the residents in many aspects," said Di Huizhong, the chief engineer at a local real estate development company.
As calculated, the city will save 50 million kilowatt-hour of electricity and 19,100 tons of coal in 2005 alone. The savings are due primarily to the indoor temperature of energy-saving construction being three to four degrees lower in summer and higher in winter than in common construction.
The local government has also worked out awarding measures to encourage social institutions and individuals to participate in energy-saving renovations, scientific research and technological developments.
(China Daily September 24, 2004)