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Consultation starts on mandatory implementation of Building Energy Codes
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    The Government today (December 28) launched a three-month public consultation on a proposal to introduce mandatory implementation of  Building Energy Codes (BECs) for certain new and existing buildings, to improve energy efficiency of buildings, alleviate global warming and combat air pollution.

     ¡§There is a strong link between energy consumption and emissions of greenhouse gas. Significant energy savings will be achieved by promoting energy efficiency in buildings, which helps address the growing concerns about global warming and local air quality,¡¨ the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, said.

     The consultation document contains proposals as follows:

(a) new commercial buildings and the communal areas of new residential and industrial buildings in both the private and public sectors as well as major retro-fitting works in existing buildings should comply with the BECs promulgated by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD).  Certificates of Compliance will be issued to buildings complying with the BECs.  The list of buildings with Certificates of Compliance issued will be made available for public inspection;

(b) to enhance energy efficiency, energy audits are required for certain buildings once every 10 years.  The results of the audits will be made available to occupants; and

(c) to complement the proposed legislative scheme, buildings that have exceeded the minimum building energy efficiency standards by a prescribed percentage will be recognised by an energy mark through a voluntary administrative scheme.

     It is estimated that the proposals will result in energy savings of 2.8 billion kWh in the first decade, which contributes to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 1.96 million tonnes.

     ¡§An additional capital outlay in the region of 3% to 5% of the building construction cost may have to be incurred in return for about 10% to 15% annual savings in energy bills.  On average, the payback period for the additional capital investment is six years,¡¨ Mr Yau said.

     Since 1998, the EMSD has issued five sets of BECs covering four key types of fixed building services installations - lighting, air-conditioning, electrical and lift and escalator - and the performance-based BEC. The department has also been operating the voluntary Hong Kong Energy Efficiency Registration Scheme for Buildings since 1998.

     As a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum, Hong Kong pledged to reduce energy intensity by at least 25% by 2030, with 2005 as the base year.

     ¡§As voluntary compliance with a higher energy efficiency standard does not appear to be forthcoming in Hong Kong, we consider it necessary to pursue mandatory implementation of the BECs to complement market driven changes,¡¨ Mr Yau said.

     He said it was a well-established international practice to require buildings to comply with minimum energy efficiency standards by means of legislation.

     For example, the Mainland and some overseas countries, including Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States, have implemented minimum energy efficiency requirements for buildings.

     Copies of the consultation document are available for collection at the District Offices.  The consultation document has also been uploaded to the Environment Bureau¡¦s website:(www.enb.gov.hk/bec_consult.html).

     Members of the public are welcome to forward their views and comments on or before March 31, 2008, to Energy Division (2), Environment Bureau by post (address: 46/F, Revenue Tower, Wan Chai, Hong Kong), by fax (2123 9438) or via email ([email protected]).

Ends/Friday, December 28, 2007
Issued at HKT 12:20

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