Subsidies unveiled for energy-saving home appliances

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 May, 2012, 12:00am


In a move designed to boost domestic consumption and cut carbon emissions, the central government has earmarked 26.5 billion yuan (HK$32.5 billion) in subsidies for energy-saving home appliances.

Under a resolution reached at a State Council executive meeting yesterday, the subsidies for energy-saving air conditioners, flat-screen televisions, refrigerators, washing machines and heaters will tentatively last for a year. It did not specify when they would be made available.

Beijing launched various policies aimed at boosting sales of home appliances in order to help weather the 2008 financial crisis. These included subsidies for manufacturers to sell their products in rural areas, as well as incentives for consumers to buy home appliances via the so-called old-for-new replacement scheme.

However, most of the schemes ended in 2011, resulting in a drop in home appliance sales on the mainland and creating a massive inventory backlog in air conditioners.

On top of subsidies for energy-saving appliances, the meeting yesterday also decided to spend 2.2 billion yuan on promoting energy-saving lighting devices and LED light bulbs, and 1.6 billion yuan on energy-efficient electric motors.

A further 6 billion yuan was earmarked for certain environmentally friendly vehicles with engine displacements of 1.6 litres or less.

A recent report by CICC Research said that inventories of air conditioners stood at 20 million to 30 million units at the end of last year - equivalent to three to four months of sales.

Citing the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, China Business News reported that the new round of subsidies would likely take the form of cash incentives for consumers to buy energy-saving large electrical goods.

Shares in mainland makers of home electrical appliances rose as much as 2.18 per cent on Tuesday on expectations that another round of subsidies would be introduced.