Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province
, has told municipal government offices not to turn on air conditioning until 33 Celsius degree, in a sign of local administrations answering the call of the central government to save energy.
An official with the municipal bureau of agriculture and forestry said at the beginning his colleagues sometimes felt uncomfortable without air conditioning, but now they have got used to it.
"As government officials, we shall do our part in saving energy," the official said.
The temperature bar for air conditioning was first set at 28 Celsius degree and later 30 Celsius degree last year.
Taicheng Mansion, a building in downtown Nanjing housing ten municipal bureaus, has not turned on air conditioning so far this year while the bureaus bought electric fans to combat heat.
Under a five-year plan through 2010, China has pledged to cut energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 20 percent, or four percent each year, but consumption fell by just 1.23 percent last year.
The central government has repeatedly ordered local administrations to take measures to save energy, including closing down firms with high energy consumption but low productivity.
Beijing and Yangzhou, an eastern city, have recruited "energy police" to check whether energy consumption in offices, hotels and other big buildings meet national standards such as keeping the air conditioning no cooler than 26 degrees Celsius and heating no higher than 20 degrees Celsius.
The central government launched a week-long campaign earlier this month to raise awareness of the need to save energy, with government ministers saying all sectors of society have a responsibility to reduce consumption.
As part of the campaign, members of the public will be urged to use public transport or bikes to travel to work and to reduce the use of air conditioners at home.
(Xinhua News Agency June 25, 2007)