Fri, Aug 01, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Public institutions to take lead in conserving energy

POWER SAVING The Bureau of Energy said that energy consumption by these institutions, which grew a mild 0.16 percent last year, could drop by 7 percent by 2025

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER, WITH CNA

The Cabinet approved a proposal yesterday requiring schools and government agencies to take the lead in lowering power consumption to achieve national goals on energy conservation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s possible that these institutions can meet the goal this year as their combined electricity consumption last year was just 0.16 percent higher than in 2006, very close to zero growth,” Bureau of Energy Director-general Yeh Huey-ching (葉惠青) said.

The growth rate of 0.16 percent — down from 2006’s annual growth of 1.42 percent — was far below the national growth rate in electricity consumption of 3.28 percent, Yeh said.

The Cabinet hopes schools and government agencies can adopt energy-saving measures that could help lower the nation’s electricity consumption by 7 percent by 2025, resulting in a 537,000-tonne drop in carbon dioxide emissions, he said.

Yeh said police stations, fire stations and government institutions involved in healthcare, national defense and construction are exempt from the requirements to maintain their routine operations.

The ministry would work with the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission of the Executive Yuan to establish a task force to assess the performance of the institutions, Yeh said.

The bureau has come up with more than 50 energy-saving tips for institutions to follow, he said.

“Public servants are encouraged to share vehicles with others when on business errands,” he said as an example.

In related story, the new members of the Control Yuan may find their hands full when they take office today, as several environmental groups plan to ask them to immediately probe “10 scandals” related to environmental destruction.

The 10 cases all took place in Taipei when President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was the mayor.

“We would like to know if the Control Yuan dares to investigate these cases, which occurred when the most powerful man [in Taiwan] now was one of the decision-makers [in Taipei],” Jay Fang (方儉), a member of the Green Consumers Foundation, said yesterday.

The environmental disputes include several important construction projects, including the Taipei Maokong Gondola (which the environmental groups say evaded any environmental impact assessment), the Taipei Arena and the demolition of historical monuments such as the 102-year-old Dalong elementary school, Fang said.

Fang said his foundation has high expectations of new Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien, but that they have doubts about the limits of Wang’s authority.

The 10 cases caused an estimated NT$100 billion (US$3.28 billion) in economic damages and environmental destruction, Fang said.

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