Private housing estates guzzling energy and Refuse to disclose electricity bill, says Greenpeace survey

Press release - 2010-06-10
A Greenpeace research reveals that most private housing in West Kowloon refuses to disclose the energy consumption of their public facilities (1). Among the little pool which unveils the data, the level of energy consumption exceeds the average of Hong Kong’s residential buildings.

A Greenpeace research reveals that the level of energy consumption exceeds the average of Hong Kong’s residential buildings.

Greenpeace criticizes the government for not regulating energy usage of public facilities in private housing estates, which not only forces property owners to share the bill, but also aggravates climate change.

 

Among 6 out of 25 private housing estates in West Kowloon which responded to a Greenpeace survey in April, reveals that their public facilities utilize up to 6834 kwh of electricity per household per annum, which is 62% higher than the Hong Kong average. (2).

 

Buildings take up the biggest share of energy consumption in Hong Kong, which account for 89% of total energy consumption, and 25% of this goes to in-house usage. The average overall energy consumption per flat in Hong Kong is 4215 kwh annually, according to the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department.

 

The Hong Kong government exempts the gross floor area (GFA) for private housing from 2001 onwards, in a bid to encourage developers to develop environmentally-friendly infrastructures and quality living facilities (3), however the policy ended up as energy guzzlers and without legislations to monitor the measures’ effectiveness.

 

Greenpeace Campaigner Prentice Koo condemns the government for failing to supervise the effectiveness of such concession to developers.

 

He says, “Developers and property management agencies should be made accountable for climate performance of their public facilities, which indeed is a concession from the government. They should not hide from disclosing the energy information to the public. No home owners would like their money spent on expensive electricity bill and aggravating climate change. ”

 

For the 6 private housing estates which disclose their energy consumption, it is worth noting that their usage is 4 to 8 times higher than their public counterparts (note 3). On the contrary, public housing estates start to disclose energy consumption of public facilities since 2003, and make efforts to reduce energy usage.

Hong Kong is going to host the C40 climate workshop this November, which energy efficiency of buildings is one of the focuses.

 

Greenpeace urges the Government to:

 

1.      Revise the discretion of exempted gross floor area in the existing Buildings Ordinance and make carbon audit compulsory for private housing estates;

2.      Make microclimate study compulsory for planning projects;

3.      Require new planning projects to pass energy efficiency tests in order to ensure its energy consumption is lower than the market level.

 

Koo says the government must tighten control over carbon emissions from buildings so as to meet an ambitious emissions reduction target of 40% by 2020. Efforts are also needed to formulate progressive and effective policies to curb climate change

 

Greenpeace is inviting the public to join an online campaign to urge developers to disclose information on carbon emissions and energy consumption of their public facilities at http://www.greenpeace.org/hk-real-estate

 

Footnotes:

 

(1) Housing Estates which refuse to disclose energy consumption data of public facilities

 

Metro Harbour View

Parc Palais

The Harbourside

Parc Oasis

The Victoria Towers

Mei Foo Sun Chuen

Harbor Green

 

The Cullinan

The Waterfront

Beacon Heights

 

Sorrento

The Long Beach

Banyan Garden

 

Hampton Place

The Arch

One Silversea

 

Laguna Verde

Liberte

Whampoa Garden

 

 

(2) Energy consumption data of public facilities of private housing estates in west Kowloon, which responded to Greenpeace survey

 

Property

Total  electricity consumption

Public electricity bill shared per Flat

Total carbon emissions

Average carbon emissions

Management Fee

Manhattan Hill

7620458 kwh

$6834/ year

3894 ton

172 kg/ m2

$2.3/ sq. ft.

One Beacon Hill

4061926 kwh

$6725/ year

3250 ton

78 kg/ m2

$2.02/ sq. ft.

Pacifica

9834163 kwh

$4359/year

7867 ton

194 kg/ m2

$1.6/ sq. ft.

Aqua Marine

5508365 kwh

$3409/ year

4407 ton

187kg/ m2

$1.4/ sq. ft.

Central Park

9670741 kwh

$3294/ year

7736 ton

62 kg/ m2

$1.7/ sq. ft.

Island Harbourview

7235729 kwh

$3127/ year

5789 ton

100 kg/ m2

$1.66/ sq. ft.

Public Housing

n/a

$807/ year

n/a

n/a

n/a

(Calculation based on $1 per unit of electricity)

 

(3) According to the Buildings Ordinance, the Buildings Department can exempt the gross floor area of environmentally-friendly infrastructures and quality living facilities provided by private housing estates. However, there is no mechanism to monitor the effectiveness of those infrastructures in the ordinance.

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