The Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance comes into full operation today (September 21). Under the Ordinance, building services installations including electrical, air-conditioning, lighting and lift and escalator installations in newly constructed buildings are required to meet the minimum energy efficiency standards and requirements as specified in the Code of Practice for Energy Efficiency of Building Services Installation. Existing buildings will also be required to comply with the requirement when undergoing major retrofitting works. The standards stipulated in the Code, which was published in February this year, are more stringent than those in the last version promulgated in 2007, which have been implemented on a voluntary basis. Most of the new standards are comparable to those adopted in the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, while some standards are not specified in overseas jurisdictions.
In addition, the central building services installations of commercial buildings and commercial portions of composite buildings are required to carry out energy audits in accordance with the Code of Practice for Building Energy Audit every 10 years, and the results have to be displayed in a conspicuous position at the main entrance of the buildings concerned for public inspection.
The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said, "The Ordinance marks an important milestone in our efforts in promoting building energy efficiency in Hong Kong and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, it generates extra business opportunities for environmental industries, including those involved in building services installations and the electrical, mechanical and energy engineering sectors.
"Developers and building owners are reminded to appoint a Registered Energy Assessor to certify their completed building services installations, and to carry out energy audits in accordance with the Ordinance. As of today, there are already over 550 Registered Energy Assessors registered under the Ordinance."
As buildings account for about 90 per cent of the total electricity consumption in Hong Kong, improving buildings' energy efficiency can help promote energy efficiency as a whole and reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions. It is expected that the implementation of the Ordinance at new buildings will result in energy savings of more than 2.8 billion kWh in the first decade, which means a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of more than 1.96 million tonnes.
For more details on the Ordinance and the two Codes of Practice, please visit the website of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (www.emsd.gov.hk).
Ends/Friday, September 21, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:01