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Energy is all around us, simply as heat and light, and in more complex mechanical, electrical, chemical and nuclear forms. Here you can gain an overview of  how you can be energy efficient.

The Limits of Energy

The ways in which we use energy is crucial to how we live. Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas have always been available, but they're becoming harder to find. If we do nothing to reduce our energy consumption now, pollution from the use of fossil fuels will increase and fossil fuel reserves will soon run out. We all need to think about using renewable energy sources such as bio-fuels, solar and wind power. Most importantly, we should aim to use energy wisely, so there is always enough to go around.

Energy in Hong Kong

Energy is crucial to Hong Kong and its many trade and industrial activities. With relatively little usable land, the city is doing its best to accommodate its 7 million inhabitants. That's why your building and those around you need so much energy – to provide lighting, conditioning etc. The surrounding streets also need lighting to help the city run 24 hours a day, and more energy is required to support a complex infrastructure of water supply, drainage, road networks and transportation such as railways, trams, cars and aeroplanes. So the Government is working hard to promote the efficient use of energy, and is exploring the use of renewable energy sources that are available.

Voluntary Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme

In recognition of the need to improve energy efficiency in Hong Kong, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department has introduced the voluntary energy efficiency labelling scheme. The scheme allows you to select household appliances and office equipment based on levels of energy consumption. Two main labels are available:

  • A grading-type label that serves consumers to compare the energy efficiency among electrical appliances and equipment.
  • A recognition-type label that indicates compliance with the Government's efficiency and performance standards.

The scheme also covers some petrol-powered passenger cars, and maintains registers of all products that carry energy labels to facilitate public access.

Mandatory Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme

To further facilitate the public in choosing energy efficient appliances and raise public awareness on energy saving, the Government has introduced the Mandatory Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme (MEELS) through the Energy Efficiency (Labelling of Products) Ordinance. Under MEELS, energy labels are required to be shown on the prescribed products for supply in Hong Kong to inform consumers of their energy efficiency performance. MEELS currently covers five types of prescribed products, namely room air conditioners, refrigerating appliances, compact fluorescent lamps, washing machines and dehumidifiers.

Renewable Energy

Sources of renewable energy such as the sun, the wind and the ocean can benefit us all because they can be used and then used again. With the rapid depletion of fossil fuels, this is becoming increasingly important in Hong Kong and around the world. The Hong Kong Government has been using solar energy, in particular, for more than 20 years, and is looking to expand its efforts in other areas of renewable energy use. For example, solar hot water heating is an efficient way of using renewable energy in your home.

What You Can Do

The following are some small but effective ways that you can reduce energy use.

  • Reduce the use of air-conditioning when fans or other ventilation will do.
  • Clean your air-conditioners regularly to ensure that they work efficiently.
  • Turn off lighting when it's not needed.
  • Completely turn off electrical appliances when you finish using them – don't leave them on standby.
  • Use stairs instead of a lift, especially when you only have to travel one or two levels.

There are many other ways that you can save energy; it just takes a little thought. What you do now will help us all in years to come.

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Last review date: January 2014

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