A green group has asked property developers to explain their policy on the energy-efficiency of the appliances they provide in new flats. Friends of the Earth has written to nine listed developers and the Urban Renewal Authority asking for information on the free appliances they have given flat buyers over the past three years. The items - mainly air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines - are often built-in at newly completed flats, and are therefore chosen by the developer. Friends of the Earth wants to know whether they are installing the most energy-efficient appliances. So far, only Sun Hung Kai Properties and the MTR Corporation have promised to reply. If the remainder do not do so by tomorrow, the group will ask flat owners for the information. Hahn Chu Hon-keung, the group's environmental affairs manager, said flat buyers usually preferred to keep new, but less energy-efficient appliances, even though they meant higher electricity costs. He said developers had the responsibility of providing energy-efficiency information to buyers. 'It is ridiculous that while they are making huge profits from selling flats packaged as luxury, they might be offering appliances that waste much more energy.' Mr Chu said the group had identified at least one property in Kowloon where free air conditioners without energy labels were offered, but he said it needed more details before disclosing the developer. He said appliances, with and without energy-efficiency labels, cost about the same. More manufacturers are registering their products with the government under a voluntary labelling scheme ranking appliances in five grades according to energy consumption, with 80 per cent of air conditioners on the Hong Kong market now labelled. Assuming operation for 1,200 hours a year at a cost of 90 cents per kilowatt, the electricity bill for a grade five air conditioner in a 10 square metre (107 sq ft) room would be HK$430 more than a grade one. According to the government, air-conditioning, lighting and refrigeration account for 70 per cent of residential power consumption. Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth said efforts at government headquarters and the Legislative Council Building between April and August saw electricity consumption cut by 7 per cent year on year.