Sat, Jun 02, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Energy bureau pushes efficiency drive

IN THE PIPE By 2011, most home appliances such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigerators and heaters will be required to meet government efficiency standards

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Chang Chun-hsiung, front right, and his fellow Cabinet members attend a question and answer session at the Legislative Yuan without their suits or ties yesterday, calling on government officials to leave their suits at home for the summer to reduce the electricity consumed by air conditioners.

PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES

The Bureau of Energy has begun to promote its campaign to achieve greater energy efficiency and cut annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 420,000 tonnes by 2011.

The campaign encourages people to dress lightly to cope with the summer heat and set their air conditioners between 26oC and 28oC to save power, the bureau said in a statement yesterday.

Earlier this week, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) ordered Cabinet ministers and government and education officials not to wear suits and ties in summer.

Taiwan has company in its quest to save energy and fight global warming.

Yesterday, for instance, Japan formally kicked off its third summer "Cool Biz" casual clothing drive as politicians wore short-sleeved shirts to work.

By turing the temperature of air conditioners up 1oC, the nation's electricity consumption will be reduced by 6 percent, the bureau said, citing a study by local market researcher Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院).

To prevent wasting energy, retailers should install air shades in entrances and exits to prevent 70 percent to 90 percent of the cool air inside their stores from leaking, the energy bureau said.

Another measure that can be taken to save power is enhancing the energy efficiency of electronics and home appliances. Annual electricity consumption could be cut by 130 million kilowatt hours if the efficiency of light bulbs ballasts was raised by 30 percent, the bureau said.

The government also plans to save 170 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year by replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving designs from 2010.

By 2011, home appliances such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigerators and heaters will be required to meet energy efficiency standards set by the government.

The government expects the standards to save 620 million kilowatt hours of electricity, or 42 tonnes of carbon dioxide, each year, the statement said.

To increase public awareness of environmental issues, the energy bureau encouraged consumers to sign up for the energy saving campaign on its Web site.

The energy bureau will also sign a declaration on Tuesday with businesses -- including Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) and Chi Mei Frozen Food Co (奇美食品) -- and associations like the Chinese National Federation of Industries (全國工總) to join in the energy saving drive, the bureau said in the statement.

Meanwhile, state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) began to billing under summer electricity rates yesterday.

Household users, retailers and hospitals in the highest power-consumption bracket will pay 28.97 percent more this month, the company said.

The bills of small and medium-sized businesses and factories will be increased by 36 percent in summer, Taipower said.

Taipower predicted consumption this summer would surpass the record 32.06 million kilowatt hours consumed last summer.

If every air conditioner in Taiwan was turned up by 1oC, electricity consumption would be reduced by 300 million kilowatt hours this summer, the company estimated.

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