Energy efficiency has been brought to the forefront of the national agenda with the cabinet yesterday releasing guidelines on energy saving for the first time.
The State Council document describes energy saving as "of strategic importance and playing a decisive role in economic and social development."
It urges local governments at all levels to make energy saving a priority; and spare no effort to reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency.
He Bingguang, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission, described the document as a "concrete program to promote energy saving."
For example, it requires public buildings to keep air-conditioning temperatures above 26 ℃ in summer and below 20 ℃ in winter to save electricity.
According to the target for the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10), energy consumption per 10,000 yuan (US$2,470) GDP should drop to 0.98 tons of standard coal, down 20 percent from 2005.
The document instructs all ministries, provincial governments and major State-owned enterprises to submit detailed energy-saving schemes to the State Council in two months.
According to the guidelines, energy saving should be a priority in sectors such as manufacturing, construction, transportation, business, government departments, and residential and rural areas.
(China Daily September 1, 2006)