Sun, Jan 04, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Bureau of Energy says subsidies are helping consumption

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Energy said yesterday that its policy of subsidizing purchases of domestically made electric appliances to the tune of NT$150 million (US$4.57 million) during the final three months of last year has helped boost consumption.

Bureau statistics showed that from Oct. 1, when the program was launched, until the end of the year, the ministry received 77,000 applications for the subsidies.

Half of the applications were for washing machines, the bureau said.

“About 70 percent of domestic enterprises told us demand for their products grew by 5 percent to 10 percent, bureau Director-General Yeh Huey-ching (葉惠青) said.

To encourage people to choose energy-saving household electrical appliances and to boost consumption, the ministry created a program of subsidizing purchases of energy-saving equipment including washing machines, air conditioners and refrigerators.

The program is expected to run through March 31.

Only purchasers of Taiwan-made equipment bearing energy-saving labels are entitled to receive the NT$2,000 subsidy per item.

The energy-saving label is granted by the bureau for products with an energy efficiency that is 10 percent to 50 percent higher than normal standards.

Bureau Deputy Director-General Wang Yunn-ming (王運銘) said his agency would study prior to the end of March the feasibility of prolonging the program.

He said new programs to promote energy-saving electric appliances could also be launched to take advantage of the government’s distribution of shopping vouchers later this month.

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