[Lobby] Our strategy to save energy

Greenpeace today unfold a 200-square-meter banner outside the venue of China Light and Power’s Annual General Meeting that reads, ‘I rule the market, you pay the price.’

Greenpeace today unfold a 200-square-meter banner outside the venue of China Light and Power’s Annual General Meeting that reads, ‘I rule the market, you pay the price.’

© Greenpeace

Our strategy to save energy

What do all Hong Kongers want from their power suppliers? They want stability, safety, value for money and energy saving. While the government is consulting with the two power companies over the mid-term review of the Scheme of Control Agreement (SoC), we have been lobbying CLP to commit to a 1% energy-saving target. We want to kick start an overhaul of the electricity market.

Action 1 : Get political and public support

More than 70 members of the legislative and district councilors signed on for getting CLP to agree to an energy efficiency obligation. They represent more than a million of the power companies’ customers. We also visited people in their homes and launched an online petition. We now have more than 6,000 signatures and the support of 12 residents’ organizations to get the power companies to institute energy savings of 1%.

Action 2 : I rule the market, you pay the price

At the end of April, we hung a giant banner outside the venue of China Light and Power’s Annual General Meeting reading: I rule the market, you pay the price -- a sarcastic comment on how the power company is manipulating the SoC mid-term review. According to our calculations, CLP only needs to spend 100 million dollars out of its annual profits of 6.6 billion, to instigate energy savings of 1%. Shareholders would only need to ‘donate’ $0.04 of its dividends per share.

Action 3 : We get CLP to meet with us

At the beginning of June, we teamed up with two other environmental groups to call on CLP to respond to our questions on energy saving, forcing them – for the first ever time -- to meet with our environmental alliance. We pressured them to respond to our proposal of making 1% energy cuts and to be open about the content and progress of SoC discussions.

Stepping up our action

We will continue to push for transparency of SoC discussions and to lobby the power companies to make these crucial energy saving commitments. This campaign is important for the people of Hong Kong, like you and your family, and our environment. Rest assured, we will let you know the next round of developments as soon as they happen!

The future of Hong Kong Power – Green Buildings

Do you know what green buildings are? Simply put, green buildings use all kinds of energy-saving measures and design features so as to reduce the building’s electricity consumption and carbon emissions. The kinds of measures we are talking about include installing insulated glass, solar panels, rainwater collection systems and so on.

Green buildings have many advantages but the industry is still in its infancy stage in Hong Kong. There are around 40,000 buildings in Hong Kong, but less than 1% are green buildings. Buildings consume 90% of all Hong Kong’s electricity, and produce 60% of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions from this power usage. Therefore, if we want a greener future, we must take action on buildings’ energy saving.

Greenpeace worked with the University of Hong Kong to research just exactly how effective would green buildings be on emissions reduction and energy efficiency:

Of course, we can’t convert all the buildings into green buildings overnight. We will need to do it in stages. A realistic deadline could be 2020, for example:

If 38% of the buildings in Hong Kong could be converted to green buildings, then every year we could save 3.1 million tons in carbon dioxide emissions, that’s equivalent to getting rid of 1.03 million private vehicles, or planting 130 million trees.

We’ve already handed our report over to Hong Kong’s Secretary for the Environment K S Wong, advising him to set up targets and measures for green buildings to improve the region’s energy efficiency. Singapore, Hong Kong’s long-time competitor, took action five years ago – they ruled that by 2030, 80% of all construction should be green buildings.

Green Buildings VS Electricity Market

2013 is an important year for the future of Hong Kong’s electricity market: The government is currently reviewing the Scheme of Agreement with the two power companies. We need the government to consider the energy savings made by green buildings to avoid once again overestimating Hong Kong’s electricity consumption.