Study highlights energy waste

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 October, 2007, 12:00am

Householders are paying an average of 13 per cent more for electricity than they need to because of the way they use appliances, a survey has found.

The Energy Saving Concern Alliance questioned about 900 Sha Tin residents and found 67 per cent ignored government advice and set the thermostats on their air conditioners below 25.5 degrees Celsius.

About 30 per cent also left windows and doors open when they had air conditioning on.

Dennis Y.C. Leung, a mechanical engineering academic at the University of Hong Kong, who took part in the study, said the electricity bill for these households was typically HK$100 higher during the summer.

He said the average electricity bill for a household of two to four people was HK$540 during the summer.

Dr Leung said many people were unaware that air conditioning lowered humidity, meaning the temperature could be set higher after time.

The survey also found 44 per cent of households left windows open after turning on a dehumidifier.

And about 30 per cent of households did not use energy-saving light bulbs.

William Wong, vice-president of the alliance, said people should not ignore the savings they could make with small changes at home. 'Where I live, turning off some light bulbs in the lobby saved us HK$10,000 a year in bills,' said Mr Wong, chairman of the owners' committee at City One Sha Tin.

The alliance, set up last month by a group of professionals and traders, aims to promote sustainability.

Its founding president, Elizabeth Quat, said she hoped the alliance would be a force to improve Hong Kong's environment, and that it could co-operate with businesses to promote ecological friendliness.

She said the alliance planned to do more in-depth surveys on how people could better use electricity and water.