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HK Electric Sets up Energy Efficiency Fund


HK Electric Sets up Energy Efficiency Fund

25 Nov 2013

HK Electric will be setting up an energy efficiency fund to provide subsidies on a matching basis to owners of old residential blocks to carry out energy improvement projects in public areas of the buildings. The decision follows the conclusion of the Mid-term Review on the Scheme of Control Agreement (SCA) between HK Electric and the government.

HK Electric Managing Director, Mr. Wan Chi-tin told a meeting of the Legislative Council's Economic Development Panel today that the company will inject into the fund the financial incentive payments it receives for out-performing stipulated targets on a yearly basis, with priority to be given to stand-alone buildings in poor conditions where owners may not be able to afford the improvement works.

"We will start working out the details now so that the programme could be launched as soon as possible to assist owners save energy and electricity expenses. While we will not underestimate the difficulties involved in the implementation, we look forward to discussing with government and green groups on ways to kick start the programme," he said.

Mr. Wan maintained that HK Electric had all along taken a pragmatic and co-operative approach in conducting this serious and vigorous review with government. Ways to improve the operation of the SCA were identified, with a focus on enhancing energy efficiency and conservation.

Mr. Wan stressed that the SCA has been working well and no significant changes should be introduced at this stage as they may undermine the integrity, certainty and stability of the regulatory framework.

"As a result of our stringent control over costs, we have maintained the basic tariff level over the past five years at a stable level, a mere increase of 0.2%. Compared with the inflation rate of 13% during this period, it is a very low increase," he noted.

In fact, HK Electric has various measures in place to help those in need, including concessionary tariff schemes for the elderly, single-parent families, unemployed and disabled people. Eligible applicants will enjoy a 60% discount on tariffs for the first 200 units of electricity each month, with deposit waived. When taking into account the government's electricity subsidy scheme, about 4,000 domestic households are not required to pay tariff this year.

Mr. Wan said, "We share the community's concern about the affordability of the low income group and have tried to minimise the impact on them when setting out the tariff level. A special 'super saver discount' has also been introduced this year to provide a 5% discount for those who use fewer than 100 units in any month. In fact, about half of our domestic customers who use fewer than 300 units of electricity a month, the electricity tariffs they pay this year are actually lower than the 2008 levels.

As the current SCA will expire in end 2018, Mr Wan pledged that in the upcoming five years, HK Electric will remain committed to providing a safe and reliable electricity supply to customers with a continuing focus on greener energy. The Company looks forward to continuing to work closely with government in meeting its policy objectives.