歧義

2008/08/26

Too many people still cool on energy saving

Filed under: News — pinksealife @ 11:50

More than 10 percent of Hong Kong households switch on air conditioners regardless of the temperature, according to a survey by the Energy Saving Concern Alliance.

University of Hong Kong professor of mechanical engineering Dennis Leung Yiu-cheung said yesterday that though more than 80 percent of the 3,000 households surveyed consistently or occasionally preferred to use electric fans, people were not using their air conditioners wisely.

“Keeping an air-con at 25 degrees Celsius and 80 percent of humidity is best, but not many people know about this,” Leung said.

In addition, the survey found, shutting doors and windows and switching air conditioners to 25.5 degrees, as suggested by the government, was still not a habit for about 20 percent of the respondents.

An average household can save between HK$1,680 and HK$4,400 a year in power and gas consumption if it follows energy-saving tips, Leung said.

But the survey showed 30 percent of households used dehumidifiers even when the humidity was at 80 percent and seldom if ever used rechargeable batteries. Forty-five percent said they would not reuse water from washing rice.

Leung said households can take small steps to save energy efficiently, such as maintaining the water heater setting at 40-43 degrees and using a vacuum cleaner less often. People can also simply turn off their air conditioners half an hour before leaving home.

“While fewer than half the respondents do not follow the energy-saving tips, the government should further promote the Green Hong Kong concept, such as the mandatory Energy Efficiency Labeling Scheme,” said the alliance’s president, Elizabeth Quat.

To help the commercial sector implement energy-saving plans, Quat suggested the government offer tax exemptions or subsidies to help buy energy-saving appliances.

Apart from saving money, the group estimated the release of carbon dioxide could be reduced by up to 161 million tonnes – 4 percent of Hong Kong’s annual carbon dioxide emission – if more energy saving takes hold.

The Standard, P06, 080826

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