energy costs

energylab energy conservation consultant, energy consultant, Hong Kong

2015 was the hottest year on record so far, so without reading your bill we know the result, your energy bills were higher than before if you used air conditioning, because air conditioning is the largest portion of energy usage in Hong Kong.

hong kong energy audit
credit: Hong Kong Observatory website 2 June 2016

Today, the Hong Kong Observatory has issued the hot weather warning, the air temperature is over 30 deg C across Hong Kong. And commentators are predicting that 2016 will be hotter than 2015, in that event, your 2016 energy bills will be higher too.

emsd REA services

energyLAB has specialist tools to assess your building and find energy cost savings.

energy audit temperatures
credit: Hong Kong Observatory website 2 June 2016

When is the best time of year to conduct an energy audit?

In Hong Kong, it is summer, and June is the peak month (refer chart above) because the building and engineering equipment will be stressed, coping with the summer heat and humidity, which cant be witnessed during the winter months.

thermal scan hong kong

If you want to stop wasting money,  call the energyLAB experts to enjoy lower energy costs!


#energyefficiency #hongkong #REA #energyaudit

energy audit: inefficiency

by John Herbert

Part of the energy audit process should be to review the condition of the plant, and equipment, generally if problems are discovered these can be categorized as deferred maintenance.

Here an example, an 800 mm axial fan, and a key part of the extract system providing mechanical ventilation. The photograph of the suction side clearly shows the flexible connection is ripped, and the discharge side was similarly damaged.

hong kong energy experts

The extract fan was operating, still moving air, and consuming amperes, but the ‘system’ was not functioning. The failure points occurred at the highest pressure (discharge side) and lowest pressure (suction side) regions, that means little air movement could occur inside the ductwork.


Now explain to the management why they paid for electricity for the whole of last year, but no mechanical ventilation was provided.

For an energy audit, that complies with EMSD Energy Audit Code, call the energyLAB experts today!


sponsored by BEAM professional

Hong Kong’s Profitable Energy Audit

by John A. Herbert, REA

The Hong Kong Government mandates that commercial buildings owners shall engage a Registered Energy Assessor (REA) to conduct an energy audit and display the resulting EUI every ten years. Whilst many organisations are scrambling to fathom the impact of their published EUI (Mj/sqm/pa) being exposed in the public domain , others have been pleasantly shocked by the range of energy saving options, and more importantly the cost savings.

There are countless success stories, for example, the REA energy audit of a commercial building in Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong found HKD 75,000 per year cost saving, the implementation cost zero! On the other side of the coin, it means the building owner and tenants had wasted/overpaid HKD 825,000 and without the Government mandated audit they would probably still wasting money.

Another glorious find! Part of the tenant lighting installation on every floor of a office building was actually connected to landlord’s electricity meter, and to make matters worse the time control operated all the light fittings overnight, another easy cost saving for the landlord. Although explaining to tenant their lighting cost will increase is different issue. It must said, this is a classic commissioning failure, had the building had been properly commissioned at day one, this type of problem should have been rectified before occupancy.

Another common issue is poor maintenance, often wrapped in softer terms, for example deferred maintenance, is another easy win. A shopping centre with central chilled water installation suffered with low delta problems, that means the temperature difference between the chilled water flow and return temperature is inadequate and since energy Q = M.C.deltaT, the system fails to perform effectively.


In this case our investigation found that the AHU cooling coils were damaged and plugged with dirt, with available area for heat exchange compromised the air velocity increased and the chilled water was returned to the chiller, still cold without cooling the air. Simple, low cost coil cleaning rectified the problem, ensuring maintenance is conducted regularly is key. blocked-coil-3

Our REA provides you with an extra set of eyes and ears, on ground, reporting any deficiencies that impact energy consumption.

Will an energy audit solve every problem? No, energy audit merely identifies the problems, it is only the first step, the most important step, yes more important than the audit, is committing to the design and remedial work to optimise your energy consumption because next years utility charges will be higher than the last, and where your EUI is in the public domain, your investors, buyers, prospective tenants, and competitors already know the score.


your air conditioning system handling the heat?

chiller operation bad

It’s the summer, and it’s hot, and humid, over the last few days it have been around 32 Deg C. And air conditioning systems across the region will be working overtime to keep your building cool.

In Hong Kong and sub-tropical regions, Air Conditioning is the largest and most expensive portion of energy expenditure, it can be 60% of the energy cost for a building owner.

We investigated the central chilled water system operation, and the neat chart above clearly illustrates our findings, the second chiller (BLACK LINE) was found to be frequently stopping and re-starting throughout the day,  no wonder the energy costs were rising. Our energy audit uncovered this no cost EMO that it will save approx. 1.2 million Hong Kong dollars per year.

chiller operation savings

Using the conversion factor (Hong Kong) of 0.7 kgCO²e/kwh that equates to saving approximately 1,400 tonnes CO²e  (carbon equivalent)  but really, what does that figure mean? That is equivalent to planting 60,000 trees per year.

It’s a good example for the 30% club, there countless organisations and individuals who tout upto 30% savings to entice more sales, and not something we would ever subscribe.

Sure, 30% might sound like an impressive number, its a marketing gimmick, because no baseline is given. If your commercial building consumed 3GJ/sqm/pa would a 30% saving a good deal? To find out the answer, ask energyLAB experts!

In this case, hard work delivered real results, with real savings, without vague possible savings promises.

clean labels and motors


Buy the most efficient motor available, and keep it clean.

Electric motors account for nearly sixty percent (60%) of the global electricity consumption!  Comparing the total life operating cost with the first cost is instructive. Typically the CapEx (capital cost) is only 1 % of the total cost of ownership (e.g. 20- 25 years lifespan for HVAC equipment) Additionally, during the first year of operation a motor will consume electricity to cover its CapEx value, considering the life time cost purchasing the most efficient motor is very cost effective investment.

Look after your motors

Thirty years ago I visited facilities with a real boilerman, he did more than just operate the boiler, but that was his title. Perhaps boilerperson would be politically correct today.  Back then, he was a rare breed,  and fiercely proud of his domain.  Upon entering any plant room you were greeted by gleaming plates,  gauges, copper and brass polished bright,  polished cladding, the room itself fit for dining, but not today cleanliness has gone the way of the dinosaurs.

One popular and possibly most annoying pastime of today’s fitter is over-painting equipment labels,  indeed it’s seems to be compulsory. Yet it still holds true today, a clean facility will have fewer problems.

One obvious and often overlooked matter is electric motors,  simply keeping the cooling fins clean maintains the heat transfer efficiency from the motor fins to the surrounding air. The failure to follow simple maintenance procedures can be costly, allowing motor winding temperature to exceed the manufacturers rating by 5 DegC halves the operating life of the motor! Keep the plant and motors clean.

— John Herbert, consultant, energyLAB