Thu, Aug 23, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Government touts green convenience store certification

ENERGY CONSUMERS:Open 24 hours a day, the nation’s 9,800 mini-marts, the world’s highest density, use 167,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each per year

Staff writer, with CNA

More than 5,000 convenience stores nationwide have been certified as “green stores” devoted to saving energy and cutting carbon dioxide emissions, a Ministry of the Interior (MOI) official said.

The ministry launched a green convenience store certification program in September last year, Architectural and Building Research Institute head Ho Ming-chin (何明錦) said.

Taiwan has the world’s highest density of convenience stores, with more than 9,800 stores operating 24 hours a day across the country’s 36,188km2, he said.

Each store consumes an average of 167,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, meaning that the total power consumption of all the stores combined surpasses 1.5 billion kWh.

“It is a heavy burden for both energy suppliers and business operators,” Ho said.

Under the program, a green rating for a convenience store is based on its energy consumption performance in six categories — freezer equipment, air conditioners, lighting, interior architecture, electricity management and usage management.

It encompasses a three-degree certification based on the degree of energy-saving efficiency of the store being evaluated, the research institute said.

The ministry considers the certification program to be important and hopes that by the end of this year, 9,004, or 90 percent, of all the country’s convenience stores will be certified as green, Ho said.

If this goal is achieved, the green stores will save up to 139.42 million kWh per year, representing cost savings of NT$360 million (US$12 million) in electricity bills and a reduction of 85,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, the expert said.

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