Public buildings in Beijing, including government offices, must do all they can to save energy this year, sources with the Beijing Municipal Construction Commission said yesterday.
Although public buildings including hotels, department stores and offices account for only 5 percent of the city's total architecture, their electricity consumption is nearly half of that used by the entire capital, sources said.
"The Beijing municipal government has decided to urge public buildings, especially government offices, to adopt various measures to save energy," said Xu Chenhui, an official with the Beijing Municipal Construction Commission. He was speaking yesterday on the sidelines of the Beijing Energy-Saving Technology Exhibition.
The exhibition, which opened yesterday, will last until Wednesday.
It is thought that large public buildings can greatly reduce energy consumption by avoiding waste and upgrading equipment.
Yin Xueqing, an official with the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection, said she has already seen changes in her office.
"The lights are not so bright which helps save electricity," Yin said.
"The indoor temperature of government offices is required to be above 26 C this summer in an attempt to reduce the amount of electricity consumed by air conditioners," she added.
Meanwhile, Xu told China Daily yesterday that new public buildings must reduce their planned energy consumption to 50 percent of the 1980 figure.
"Otherwise, the construction of these buildings will be forbidden," he said.
There are 20 million square meters of large public buildings in Beijing. It is expected the figure will double in the next few years.
Beijing is a vast city but does not have enough of various resources such as water and electricity.
For example, it is expected that the city will be lacking in 1 million kilowatts of electricity this summer.
(China Daily June 13, 2005)