The local government of Shenyang is planning to implement a new energy saving construction standard starting in October.
Under the scheme, new public construction projects must use energy-saving materials so as to save 50 percent on energy usage, and the goal for residential houses is even higher 65 percent.
"Energy saving in buildings is one of the most important aspects for our ongoing energy-efficiency campaign. It involves people's everyday lives," said Xing Kai, vice-mayor of Shenyang, capital of Northeast China's Liaoning Province.
According to the old standard, every square meter of floor space should consume over 31 kilograms of coal to ensure a suitable temperature in winter. Under the new standard however, the consumption level is down by more than two-thirds, according to Lu Jin, director of Shenyang Office for Energy Saving in Buildings.
Statistics from the Shenyang Municipal Construction Commission show that the city may save almost half a million tons of coal for heating in winter under this new standard.
Moreover, the new energy-saving residential houses will also consume less electricity for air-conditioning in summer due to their excellent heat preservation qualities, added Lu.
"This sounds great and would be made more attractive if the government adopts the policy that property management fees be collected according to actual energy consumption on the part of apartment owners," said Xu Feng, a staff worker from a local advertising company, who is considering purchasing a new house.
Besides the new buildings, old constructions are also required to improve their energy saving performance.
Experts say that it is easy to initiate this kind of upgrading adding an energy-preserving coating to the old buildings. This is just like a person putting on a coat. The office building of the Liaoning provincial government has set an example in this regard.
A senior official from the Shenyang Construction Commission said they would strengthen the supervision of energy-efficient construction. And those real estate developers who fail to meet the requirement would be fined up to 500, 000 yuan (US$ 61,650).
Shenyang has carried out the energy-saving construction policy since 1993.
(China Daily August 16, 2005)