The 'eco-friendly' legislature complex in Admiralty will undergo an energy audit after the government's power bill rose almost ninefold during the new headquarters' first months of operation.
The complex, whose green facilities include solar-powered hot-water systems, incurred average monthly bills of HK$1.46 million from September 20 to November 20, compared with an average of HK$165,240 during the same period in 2010 at the old location in Central.
An itemised review of electricity consumption was under way to monitor usage, and a carbon audit might be held to explore more measures for emissions reduction, Chief Secretary Stephen Lam Sui-lung said yesterday in a written reply to a query that came from legislator Audrey Eu Yuet-mee.
'The Legislative Council Secretariat is currently holding discussions with the administration and considering the engagement of experts to conduct a comprehensive carbon audit for the complex,' he said.
The complex was estimated to have emitted about 1,527 tonnes of carbon dioxide during those two months. The legislature relocated in September and the new session started on October 12.
The bigger bills were due partly to the contractor carrying out remedial work in the initial period, Lam said, but also to more office space and more power-consuming facilities, such as education galleries, activity rooms and exhibition halls that were open seven days a week.
The operational floor size of the complex is about 18,000 square metres, double that of the old premises. More space was needed because the number of legislators is expected to rise from the current 60. There are also more than 300 employees.
The complex is said to incorporate power-saving designs, such as a glass ceiling providing natural light to the chamber where lawmakers hold meetings. But spotlights were still installed in the ceiling, as some lawmakers had complained about insufficient lighting.