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Capital to Set Example for Energy Efficiency
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Ten governmental departments of the Beijing municipal government have promised to cut their office buildings' energy consumption by 20 percent next year, an official with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform announced yesterday.

Huang Qian, an official with the commission, said energy management companies would be employed to offer professional services to governmental departments to help them become more energy-efficient.

The 10 departments include the Commission of Development and Reform, the Bureau of Tourism, the Public Security Bureau and Chaoyang District government.

According to the commission, in 2004, the per capita energy consumption of the departments' office buildings was 1.45 tons of standard coal, 3.2 times more than the city's average.

Problems have been found with the operational efficiency and management of these buildings.

It was also found that these governmental departments had failed to use energy-efficient equipment and appear to be relatively unaware about energy saving.

The energy management companies will advise on the installation of energy efficient lighting, ventilation, air-conditioning and heating systems with particular focus on electricity supply.

Huang estimated that with the installation of more energy efficient systems, the 10 departments would save more than 6 million yuan (US$740,000) each year.

"Beijing has been chosen by the central government as a pilot study in the formation of a circular economy," Huang said. "We plan to start by improving energy efficiency within governmental departments, in the hope that they will serve as an example to the rest of society."

Huang said the municipal government would allocate special funds to improve the energy efficiency of governmental buildings next year.

Other public buildings, such as hotels, shopping malls and office buildings, would also be required to take measures to reduce energy consumption.

Statistics showed that large buildings that each cover a land area above 20,000 square metres account for 5.4 percent of Beijing's total construction area, but consume 50 percent of the electricity.

This summer, Beijing advised big buildings to keep air-conditioning temperatures above 26 C to save electricity, according to the commission.

The commission has also achieved its goal of introducing 320,000 energy efficient lighting products to public institutions, such as governmental departments, hotels, office buildings, schools and hospitals.

The total amount of electricity saved with the use of these lighting products amounted to 20.5 million kwh (equal to 8,200 tons of standard coal), or 16.4 million yuan (US$2 million).

(China Daily December 30, 2005)

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