Government and other public-funded buildings in the city are coming under increased scrutiny as authorities step up their efforts to reach their ambitious energy saving goals.
Under an action plan issued earlier this month, by 2010, the municipal government wants energy consumption in the country's commercial and financial hub to be down 20 percent on the 2005 level.
Regular energy-use checks are now being carried out on residential and office buildings and the results are being used as part of the process to measure officials' performance.
One official from the Shanghai energy saving, monitoring and audit center, which was set up in 1998, said: "Our work has intensified in recent years, as energy saving is now high up on the agenda of all levels of government."
The center recently completed an audit of more than 30 municipal government buildings and is now carrying out inspections of district-level government buildings.
Under the plan, some 180 billion sq m of new residential and public buildings will have to be brought in line with the energy-saving rules and a further 30 million old buildings will have to be revamped by 2010, an official with the municipal urban construction and transportation committee, said.
Yang Xiong, Shanghai's vice-major, said at a recent seminar on energy saving in construction, said: "There is still plenty of room to improve in the area of energy saving in our public buildings."
Long Weiding, an expert on energy saving at Tongji University, said: "Public-funded complexes, such as government buildings and colleges, should be where the most strict energy-saving practices are applied."
Residential and office buildings account for 18-20 percent of the country's total energy consumption, Long said.
"Although this is relatively low compared to the amount used by industry, the pace of growth is getting faster as the economy booms," he said.
"There will be serious consequences if we don't pay enough attention to energy-saving practices in the construction of new buildings," he said.
The central government has set a target to reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent between 2006 and 2010. In the first half of 2007, it was down 2.78 percent year on year.
(China Daily August 24, 2007)