The government will consider other ways to fund HK$240 million in coupons for buying energy-efficient light bulbs to avoid electricity users paying more for power, and letting households spend the coupons on other items, the environment chief told legislators. Several called on Edward Yau Tang-wah yesterday to scrap the idea, which he has said was proposed by green groups. Political parties have questioned why households will have to pay more for electricity to fund the HK$100 coupons. The Liberal Party thinks it unfair that commercial power users, who will not get coupons, will pay more for power. An official said controversy surrounding the scheme would be defused if power users did not have to pay extra to finance it. 'It is the crux of the problem. The government is willing to listen to the public's views,' the official said, but would not say when the administration would take a decision, nor whether it would pay for the scheme itself. Yau told the Legislative Council he was aware of the various concerns expressed since Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced the scheme in his policy address two weeks ago. 'We will actively respond to the public's concerns about [higher] electricity bills, including considering other ways to implement the scheme without increasing bills,' the environment secretary said. On Wednesday, Yau offered to listen to public views on the scheme. The government is proposing that all power users pay between 0.5 HK cents and 0.6 HK cents more for each kilowatt-hour of electricity they use next year to fund the coupons, which it plans to distribute to 2.4 million domestic electricity users with their power bills in December. Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, who is chairwoman of the Legco panel on environmental affairs, hoped the government would deal promptly with the details for implementing the coupon scheme. 'I hope the controversy can come to an end despite the government's slow response to the unanswered questions about the scheme. It has to make a prompt decision on the details,' Eu said. The party opposes increasing electricity tariffs, supports allowing the use of coupons for items other than light bulbs and points out that coupons may go to landlords, rather than their tenants who pay the electricity bills. Miriam Lau Kin-yee, chairwoman of the Liberal Party, believed the public's anger over the scheme would be assuaged if the plan to make power users pay for it was reconsidered. The party has said the scheme is unfair to the commercial sector, since it will only benefit domestic electricity users. Lau said: 'The scheme should cover other energy-saving products and electrical appliances. The government could consider refunds to encourage power users to consume less.' Yau said the government would study whether to allow the coupons to be used for other products.