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Implementing New Scheme of Control Agreement to Further Promote Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Renewable Energy

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Implementing New Scheme of Control Agreement to Further Promote Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Renewable Energy

23 Apr 2018

HK Electric announced today the frameworks of a series of “Smart Power” services and schemes introduced to further promote energy efficiency and conservation (EE&C), as well as the development of renewable energy (RE) in Hong Kong under the new Scheme of Control Agreement (SCA). Among those, the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Scheme will invite applications from 1 September, while other programmes will roll out progressively from 1 November.

HK Electric's Managing Director, Mr. Wan Chi-tin, noted that the Company has achieved some results in promoting EE&C in the community over the years and that more will be done in the future. “Our guiding principle is to offer priority to help the disadvantaged in society as well as buildings lacking financial resources and technical expertise,” he told legislators at the Environmental Affairs Panel Meeting today (PowerPoint presentation at LegCo EA Panel Meeting).

The services and schemes to be launched will fall into two categories - funds and services to enhance EE&C, and the “FiT Scheme” and “Renewable Energy (RE) Certificates” to promote the further development of RE.

HK Electric will announce in August details of the FiT Scheme. Any non-governmental bodies or individuals who have installed grid-connected RE Power Systems (REPS) (i.e. solar photovoltaic systems or wind power systems) in HK Electric’s supply area are eligible to apply. As determined by the Government, the FiT rates to be adopted initially are set at $3-5 per unit of electricity depending on the system capacity of the REPS. Rates in the subsequent years will be determined following an annual review between the Government and HK Electric.

Complementing the FiT Scheme, RE Certificates will be introduced in November for customer subscription to support the development of RE in Hong Kong.

And to further promote EE&C, HK Electric will launch the following five funding schemes and services.

I. Smart Power Building Fund (SPBF)

Under the new SCA, the funding size, building coverage and eligible project scope of the SPBF will be expanded. An annual budget of HK$25 million will be allocated to subsidise buildings to carry out retrofitting of energy-efficient communal building services installations, retro-commissioning and building-based smart/IT technologies projects. Details including subsidy limit, funding allocation and priority will be announced later.

A vetting committee comprising representatives from the engineering profession, academia, district councils, green group and HK Electric will continue to assess and approve applications.

II. Smart Power Care Fund (SPCF)

HK Electric will establish a brand new SPCF targeting the needy and disadvantaged households within the Company's supply area including beneficiaries of the Government's Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme, needy electricity users referred by NGOs or District Council members, and tenants of sub-divided units (SDU).

Successful applicants will be offered a one-off subsidy to replace existing household electrical appliances by more energy-efficient models, or carry out handy improvement works to ensure the safe use of electricity. In the case of SDU tenants, they will have an option to apply for a higher subsidy for rewiring work to install separate electricity meters, provided that there is a prior consensus amongst fellow SDU tenants, agreements by the landlord and building owners' corporation as well as satisfying the relevant technical and safety requirements. Subsidy limits will be announced later.

III. Smart Power Education Fund

The size of the existing Education Fund will be doubled to HK$5 million per year for educational activities to promote EE&C, low carbon lifestyle, and RE application. An advisory committee comprising representatives from various stakeholder groups, the Government and HK Electric will continue to help set the theme and direction of programmes under the Fund every year.

IV. Smart Power Energy Audit

Free energy audit services will continue for HK Electric's non-residential customers to help identify energy saving opportunities at their premises. The target is to increase the number of completed audits from the present 50 cases to 200 cases annually.

V. Smart Power Loan Fund

HK Electric will continue to collaborate with banks to offer interest-subsidised loans to customers participating in the Smart Power Energy Audit and SPBF to implement their energy efficiency projects.

The new SCA will take effect in January 2019, after which HK Electric will adjust the fuel clause charges more frequently in order to help reflect the actual fuel costs in a timelier manner. The fuel clause charge will be adjusted monthly, based on the previous 3-month average actual fuel costs.

Application details and arrangements of various “Smart Power” services and schemes will be announced in August and October this year. A telephone hotline (2843 3228) and email account (energy efficiency & conservation: EEC@hkelectric.com; renewable energy: RE@hkelectric.com) have been set up to answer customer enquiries. Various channels will be used to promote the schemes and activities held to communicate with stakeholders.

“We believe these schemes will help further enhance the energy efficiency of buildings, encourage and facilitate the general public to save energy and reduce emissions, as well as promote the development of RE in Hong Kong. All this will be conducive to achieving the Government's carbon and emissions reduction targets in the long run,” Mr. Wan said.