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Warning To Electricity Guzzlers

Barclay Crawford – SCMP – Updated on Apr 27, 2008

Electricity consumption will jump by 30 per cent by 2020 if businesses and households do not act to limit power use, a green group has warned.

Friends of the Earth released data for their Power Smart campaign yesterday, saying that based on annual increases over the past decade, consumption would reach 52.8 billion kWh and carbon dioxide emissions would hit 31 million tonnes by 2020. This would lead to more pollution and health problems, Angus Wong, spokesman for the group, said.

Mr Wong said that despite a recent survey showing that 70 per cent of citizens acknowledged they were “informed wasters”, little action was being taken to reduce power consumption.

“Most people know they consume too much but they still do nothing,” Mr Wong said. “The government also still has no concrete or complete energy-saving policies. The European Union is actually on track to reduce consumption by 20 per cent for the same period. Hong Kong needs to act now.”

Friends of the Earth said commercial operations guzzled 66 per cent of the city’s energy and he urged them to find ways to limit use, especially in summer. The campaign launch came a day after the government gazetted a budget measure to offer businesses tax breaks for using greener production equipment.

In the bill before the Legislative Council, eligible equipment will qualify for a 100 per cent tax deduction in the year of purchase. It includes machinery to reduce air pollution, water treatment facilities and noise-minimising construction tools.

Environmentally friendly gear which also attracts tax breaks includes renewable generators for wind, solar and thermal power.

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