Wed, Aug 02, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Ko cold shoulders electricity-saving order from Cabinet

SPOT OF RELIEF:The Taipei mayor asked where bureaucrats would be able to find relief if their offices’ air-conditioning was off for two hours in the afternoon

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Apollo Chen uses an electric fan to keep cool yesterday as air-conditioner temperatures in the Legislative Yuan were raised to reduce the building’s consumption of electricity.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

The Taipei City Government will keep the air-conditioning on in its offices between 1pm and 3pm for the next two weeks, despite an Executive Yuan order for government facilities to turn it off during those times, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

The Cabinet on Monday said the government would take the lead in saving energy by turning off air-conditioning for two hours a day while Ho-Ping Power Co (和平電力) repairs an electrical transmission tower in Yilan County downed by strong winds brought by Typhoon Nesat over the weekend.

The loss of the tower reduced the nation’s power supply by 1.3 million kilowatts (kW).

Ko was asked about the Cabinet order after he attended a news conference on Taipei’s cityscape improvement efforts.

“Where can civil servants find relief if air conditioners are turned off between 1pm and 3pm?” Ko said.

“Orders should be reasonable, but that is a very extraordinary order, and extraordinary orders should only be given in a state of emergency,” the mayor said. “If we often give extraordinary orders in normal times, then people will not cooperate with such orders during a state of emergency.”

Asked if the nation’s current electrical supply situation could be considered a state of emergency, Ko said: “We will keep air-conditioning temperatures at 28 degrees Celsius, a little high, but it will still be turned on.”

In other news, Minister of Transportation and Communications Hochen Tan (賀陳旦) on Monday invited Ko to an exchange of ideas after Ko criticized the Ministry of Transportation and Communications plans to establish a joint disaster prevention center at Taipei Railway Station and a proposal for a light rail system between Keelung and Taipei.

Ko yesterday said the ministry and the city have agreed to establish a temporary disaster prevention center at Taipei Railway Station during the Taipei Universiade this month and the temporary center would operate until the official center is established.

That is expected to be in March 2019.

The ministry is to hold a meeting this month on the light rail project, he said, adding that he suggested it finish its feasibility evaluations first. The meeting would decide on the project’s terminal station and route, and budgets for the system would be allocated later, he said.

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