Govt. plans for new energy conservation measures to be published next year

The SCMP reports that the HKSAR govt. will shortly release the plan to reduce energy consumption for commercial and residential buildings, citing information gained from the BEEO requiring building owners to engage an REA to conduct an energy audit every ten years, and we have conducted many such energy audits. However, to rely on that data is an serious oversight, some examples:

1) Hotels, and government buildings, are amongst the long list of exempt buildings, so coverage is hardly comprehensive;

2) Accounting for energy in complex buildings is somewhat flawed. Where a composite building comprises car park and shopping centre the result is a single combined EUI. Composite buildings with large, naturally ventilated car park (and little energy use) significantly lower the total EUI;

3) In smaller commercial buildings, the energy consumption for the tenant area is excluded. However, the tenant floor area is accountable when calculating the EUI which is misleading;

Having said all that, there are cost effective solutions that don’t break the bank, our clients already enjoy the benefits of lower energy consumption and lower energy costs. But you do need an energy auditor with experience, some buildings we have visited, and energy audit reports that have crossed our desk would make your toes curl.

One classic error is reducing the hot water storage temperature to save money, this could be a fatal error. Legionella is a particularly nasty aqueous pathogen that thrives in warm water environs, in other countries there is legislation in place, but that’s rare in Asia. Lowering the water storage temperature, and or switching off the water heater for prolonged periods, provides the perfect opportunity for Legionella proliferation, which in turn could lead to infection. If you are male, over 40, and are unfortunate to contract Legionnaires’ Disease and survive, it is likely that you will never work again.

HKGBC’s paper HK3030 is very much wider than than government announcement because encourages the uptake of BEAM Plus green building initiatives. Indeed its often overlooked that the best investment to improve your energy efficiency is simply better training.

hong kong energy consultant energyLAB

If you need to lower your energy costs and reduce your environmental impact contact our energyLAB experts to conduct your energy audit.

In case its lost in the cloud, here is the SCMP article and link:

Hong Kong government to release 10-year plan to cut energy consumption in buildings

The government wants to set targets for reducing electricity use in residential and commercial buildings in a bid to slash carbon emissions

The Environment Bureau is expected to release a 10-year energy-saving roadmap early next year, including an official target to cut buildings’ electricity consumption, a government source told the South China Morning Post.

The roadmap could be highlighted in Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s policy address next month. It would be the third blueprint to be formulated by the bureau since last year. The first was aimed at improving air quality, while the second targeted a reduction in waste.

“It will give different energy-saving targets for residential and commercial buildings, which account for 90 per cent of the city’s electricity use,” the government source said, adding that substantial cross-departmental effort was needed to formulate the blueprint.

The city has more than 41,000 buildings. Close to 70 per cent of the city’s electricity is consumed by commercial buildings.

Green Building Council chairman Conrad Wong Tin-cheung supported the move. “The city has focused on green building designs over the past years. It’s time to move on to improving building management, like how offices should be operated to save energy,” he said.

Wong hoped that the government would adopt the target proposed by the council two years ago, which aims to reduce buildings’ total electricity consumption by 30 per cent of the 2005 level by 2030. Such a target would translate into a saving of more than 33,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity and 23 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

William Yu, an energy specialist and chief executive of the World Green Organisation, said the roadmap would be a way to reduce carbon emissions. “But the key is whether the roadmap will be devised with effective measures and will offer attractive incentives to different sectors to work towards the goal,” he said.

Yu was referring to the plan proposed by the government in 2010 to cut carbon intensity – the amount of carbon dioxide generated in producing a unit of gross domestic product – by up to 60 per cent on 2005 levels by 2020. He complained that little action had been taken to realise the plan.

Apart from giving out subsidies, Yu suggested the government should act as a guarantor for small to medium-sized businesses so they could obtain money from banks to retrofit their premises.

The news came as owners of more than 2,600 commercial buildings – with the oldest built 36 years ago – submitted energy audit reports to the government under a requirement specified in the Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance, which took effect in September 2012.

Under the law, owners of commercial blocks, including shopping malls in residential complexes, are required to conduct an audit every 10 years.

An Environment Bureau spokeswoman said the reports would be submitted in four phases by 2016. The first phase has already been completed.

“With records of how much electricity the buildings are consuming, the reports will provide useful baseline data for the government to set a realistic target [for cutting energy use],” Yu said.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as 10-year plan to cut energy consumption set for release

About John Herbert, REA

John has with more than 30 years of engineering experience gained across three continents and he is Registered Energy Assessor REA.
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