Police set example in 'thermal crime' battle

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 July, 2005, 12:00am

Police are setting an example in tackling 'thermal crime' by raising the temperature in offices and allowing staff to 'dress down' while working indoors.

From Monday, the temperature in all police offices will be set at 25.5 degrees Celsius, the government's recommended level, and clerical workers, now required to wear ties, will be allowed to shed them.

A police spokesman said this was 'for the sake of the Earth'.

The new environmentally friendly practice follows a Friends of the Earth survey, which found Hong Kong offices had some of the lowest temperatures in the world.

The survey was part of the green group's 'thermal crime' campaign that demanded the city save energy by abolishing arctic-level air-conditioning.

'We are surprised by the police's quick reaction. We thought that it would be the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department or the Environmental Protection Department that would respond first,' said Hahn Chu Hon-keung , environmental affairs manager of Friends of the Earth.

'The police's immediate positive response is a role model for the rest of the Hong Kong government departments. We hope that other departments will follow suit,' said the green group director Mei Ng Fong Siu-mei.

The Friends of the Earth said air-conditioning made up 60 per cent of electricity used in Hong Kong every year.

If the public are willing to scale down the temperature of their air-conditioners by just one degree Celsius, more than 330 million units of electricity could be saved every year, the group added.

It also meant a reduction of 233,000 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions that even a forest 75 per cent the size of Hong Kong would take a year to absorb.