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LCQ19: Maintaining indoor temperature at 25.5 degree Celsius

    Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Hok-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, in the Legislative Council today (May 14):


    In October 2004, the former Environment, Transport and Works Bureau issued a circular requesting all bureaux and departments to maintain the indoor temperature of offices at 25.5 degree Celsius in summer months, unless there are special operational needs.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how the figures on electricity expenditure and consumption after implementing the above measure in Government offices compare with the previous ones;

(b) whether it knows which public organisations have followed the Government's practice, and how the electricity expenditure and consumption levels of these organisations after they have implemented such a measure compare with the previous levels; and

(c) whether it has assessed the effectiveness of the measure in energy conservation; if it has, of the assessment results, if not, the reasons for that?


Madam President,

(a) The Government issued guidelines in October 2004 to require Government departments to set the air-conditioned room temperature at 25.5 degree Celsius in summer.  Since then, as a number of infrastructural and public facilities have entered into services, and the usage and opening hours of many public facilities have also increased steadily, there has been a slight increase in the total electricity consumption by the Government.  Nevertheless, to enable an objective comparison on electricity conservation, it is necessary to adopt the same operational parameters as the basis.  According to the information of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), if we use the operational parameters of 2002-03 as the comparison basis, the total electricity consumption of the Government has been on a downward trend after the implementation of controlling the air-conditioned room temperature during summer (first implemented in the summer of 2005).

Year  Total electricity  Total normalised electricity
      consumption        consumption  (using the
                          operational parameters
                          of 2002-03 as the 
                          comparison basis)
2004-05  2,380 million kWh  2,190 million kWh
2005-06  2,420 million kWh  2,150 million kWh
2006-07  2,510 million kWh  2,120 million kWh

    The total electricity expenditure of the Government from 2004-05 to 2006-07 is $2,140 million, $2,180 million and $2,260 million respectively.

(b) The EMSD has been promoting the message of and measures for energy conservation to public and statutory organisations, including to maintain the air-conditioned room temperature at 25.5 degree Celsius in summer. Relevant promotional and publicity activities include inviting these organisations to sign the "Energy Conservation Charter -- Suitable Room Temperature", distributing mini-thermometers and publicity materials such as "Energy Saving Tips" booklets and posters, and organising talks on energy efficiency for over 10 public and statutory organisations.  Participating organisations responded positively and indicated that they would make reference to the Government's practice, where appropriate, in controlling the air-conditioned room temperature for saving energy. These organisations did not provide information to the EMSD on their electricity consumption and relevant expenditure.

(c) The electricity consumption of Government departments is affected by many factors, such as the number of public facilities and the operational level of various services, the management measures for energy conservation and the use of devices with higher energy efficiency etc.  The EMSD has not assessed the effectiveness of individual energy conservation measures. Nevertheless, the EMSD has monitored the electricity consumption of major Government buildings.  Information indicates that since the issue of guidelines on maintaining the air-conditioned room temperature at 25.5 degree Celsius to Government departments in late 2004, the electricity consumption of major Government buildings in the summer (i.e. from April to September) of 2005 has reduced by 2% as compared to the same period in 2004.

Ends/Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Issued at HKT 14:16


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