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Smart Power for Smart City – HK Electric Introduces Further Energy Efficiency Initiatives

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Smart Power for Smart City – HK Electric Introduces Further Energy Efficiency Initiatives

30 Oct 2018

HK Electric has launched a number of services that would further promote energy efficiency in the community and help develop renewable energy, bringing Hong Kong closer to becoming a smart city.

Called "Smart Power Services", the package includes subsidising buildings to carry out energy saving measures; providing subsidies for energy-efficient appliances to those in need and for installing separate meters for tenants of sub-divided units (SDUs); offering tariff relief for eligible SDU tenants as well as introducing renewable energy certificates (RECs). Most services are now open for application.

Four funds have been established and three schemes devised under the "Smart Power Services" package to cater for different sectors of the community, including residential, industrial and commercial properties, education and welfare organisations as well as needy members of society.

Managing Director of HK Electric, Mr. Wan Chi-tin, joined the Secretary for the Environment, Mr. Wong Kam-sing, to officiate at today's (30 October 2018) launching ceremony. He said that the Company would be investing at least $35 million annually from 2019 on Smart Power Services, with priority given to those disadvantaged in society as well as buildings lacking financial resources and technical expertise.

"Energy saving is the responsibility of everyone in society. However, in the absence of resources and technical expertise, some buildings may struggle to take the first step. That is why we will focus on assisting older buildings to replace building services in communal areas," Mr. Wan said.

"Meanwhile, we will introduce new schemes to subsidise beneficiaries of the Government's Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme and tenants of sub-divided units (SDUs) to purchase energy-efficient appliances, or assist the latter to install separate meters and offer tariff relief," he added.

All this is aimed at promoting energy efficiency in the community, as well as supporting the local development of renewable energy that contributes to Hong Kong's efforts in combating climate change.

Mr. Wan hoped that with the joint efforts of different sectors of the community, greater results could be achieved in promoting energy saving. He believed this would be conducive to achieving the Government's carbon and emissions reduction targets in the long run as Hong Kong transforms itself into a smart city.

Today's ceremony also marked the completion of a training programme for senior citizens keen to help promote energy efficiency in the community. A group of more than 50 retirees have recently been trained as Smart Power Ambassadors by HK Electric and the Hong Kong Council of Social Services. The ambassadors pledged to spread the green message across to friends and families as they received their completion certificates from the officiating guests.

Addressing the audience, Mr. Wong said he welcomed HK Electric's latest initiatives to further promote energy efficiency and conservation in Hong Kong while addressing the needs of the disadvantaged in society.

"In the new Scheme of Control Agreements signed between the Government and the power companies in April 2017, greater efforts were initiated to promote renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency. While the Feed-in Tariff has been introduced, RE Certificates will be available for subscription in January 2019. The 2018 Policy Address further indicated that restrictions would be suitably relaxed on the installation of solar photovoltaic systems on the rooftops of New Territories Exempted Houses (also known as "village houses"), as well as considering to make appropriate relaxations for low-rise buildings," Mr. Wong noted.

"In addition, we will introduce programmes to provide financial and technical support for schools and NGOs to assist them in installing small-scale RE systems. The newly-established "Smart Power Care Fund" by the power company not only helps the underprivileged to join the energy-saving effort, but also relieves their burden of life. Regardless of age and background, it is everyone's responsibility to address climate change. I am delighted to see the Smart Power Ambassadors taking on this journey together with businesses and the community," he said.

Under the "Smart Power Services", the Smart Power Building Fund will assist building owners to enhance the energy efficiency performance of their building services installed for communal use. HK Electric will be injecting $25 million annually into the Fund - five times the existing fund - for buildings including residential, commercial, industrial and composite buildings in HK Electric's supply area except those directly owned and operated by the Government.

Projects and scope of the Fund include retrofitting building service installations like public lighting, air-conditioning, lift and escalator installations; retro-commissioning; and building-based smart technologies.

The subsidy rates and caps will be determined based on different building types. A single-block older building may receive up to 50% on a matching basis with a subsidy capped at $500,000 per block (see Appendix 1). All eligible applications would be scrutinised for approval by a vetting committee comprising representatives from the engineering profession, academia, district councils, green groups and HK Electric. The allocation priority, subsidy rates and caps will be subject to an annual review between HK Electric and the Government.

To assist vulnerable groups in society to enhance energy efficiency and conservation, a brand new Smart Power Care Fund (Appendix 2) will be introduced to provide cash subsidies up to $5,000 per household to purchase energy-efficient electrical appliances. Target groups include CSSA recipients, customers of HK Electric's Concessionary Tariff Schemes and eligible SDU tenants.

In addition, SDU tenants will have the option to apply for a subsidy with a higher cap at $15,000 (or an overall cap of $45,000 per flat before sub-division) for rewiring work and installing separate electricity meters.

Those SDU tenants who are on CSSA will also be eligible for an additional electricity charges relief of $500 per year. HK Electric is currently discussing with various social welfare organisations the scheme details and will be inviting applications from 1 January 2019.

Also from 2019 HK Electric will be allocating more resources into the Smart Power Education Fund (Appendix 3). An annual budget of $5 million will be set aside to promote energy efficiency and conservation, low-carbon living and renewable energy in the community. An advisory committee, comprising representatives from the education and engineering professions, green groups, the Government and HK Electric, will set the theme and steer activities for the year.

Currently, HK Electric offers free energy audits for its non-residential customers to help identify energy-saving potential to improve energy efficiency at their business premises. Under the expanded Smart Power Energy Audit service (Appendix 4), the number of completed audits is expected to increase from the present 50 cases to 200 cases annually.

And to address the financial needs of some building owners and operators, HK Electric will continue to collaborate with banks to provide interest-subsidised loans to successful applicants through the Smart Power Loan Fund (Appendix 5) whose scope has been extended to cover projects approved by the Building Fund or suggested projects arising from the energy audits.

To support the Government's policy in promoting the development of renewable energy in Hong Kong, HK Electric launched the Feed-in Tariff(FiT) Scheme in late August to encourage organisations and building owners to install solar photovoltaic or wind-powered systems and have them connected to the HK Electric grid. So far there have been over 250 enquiries and more than 40 applications have been received.

Following the launch of the FiT Scheme, Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) will be introduced for customer subscription. RECs will be sold in blocks of 100 units of electricity that is generated by HK Electric or purchased through the FiT Scheme, at 50 cents per unit. The revenue from the sale of RECs will offset in part the additional expenses arising from the FiT Scheme. Details of the REC sale will be announced later for subscription from 1 January 2019.

HK Electric will promote the "Smart Power Services" by organising briefings and presentations to district councils, community organisations, owners' corporations, welfare organisations and schools, as well as through social media platforms.

Application details and arrangements of these schemes have been uploaded onto the Smart Power Services webpage www.hkelectric.com/SPS-en. A telephone hotline (2843 3228) and email accounts (please refer to Table I) have also been set up for enquiries.

Table I

"Smart Power Services" Schemes

Website

Email Accounts

Smart Power Building Fund

www.hkelectric.com/SPBF-en

SPBF@hkelectric.com

Smart Power Care Fund

www.hkelectric.com/SPCF-en

SPCF@hkelectric.com

Smart Power Education Fund -
Smart Power Campaign

www.hkelectric.com/smartpower-en

SPEF@hkelectric.com

Smart Power Energy Audit

www.hkelectric.com/SPEA-en

SPEA@hkelectric.com

Smart Power Loan Fund

www.hkelectric.com/SPLF-en

SPLF@hkelectric.com

Feed-in Tariff Scheme

www.hkelectric.com/FIT-en

RE@hkelectric.com

Renewable Energy Certificates

www.hkelectric.com/REC-en

REC@hkelectric.com

Appendix 1
Smart Power Building Fund

Features:
HK Electric will inject $25 million into the Fund per annum.

• Financial support is provided to building owners to enhance energy efficiency performance of their building services installations for communal use.

• A major share of the Fund will be allocated for residential buildings during the first year. Higher priority will be accorded to older, single-block buildings, as well as eligible applicants who lack resources and technical expertise (e.g. small and medium enterprises, non-profit-making non-government organisations, etc.)

• Different types of buildings will have different subsidy rates and caps.

Table I

• Eligible energy efficiency improvement works for communal use include:

Retrofitting of building services installations including lighting, air-conditioning, lift, escalator and electrical installations (e.g. pump motor), etc.;

Retro-commissioning;and

Building-based smart technologies.

Eligibility:
Buildings including residential, commercial, industrial and composite buildings in HK Electric's supply area, except those directly owned and operated by the Government (e.g. Government offices) are eligible to apply.

• Organisations or persons who are eligible to apply include:

Owners' corporations registered under the Building Management Ordinance (Cap. 344);

Owners' organisations (e.g. owners' committee);

Residents' organisations (e.g. mutual aid committee);

For buildings without any of the organisations mentioned above, an owner of the building with written authorisation of all owners can be appointed as a representative;

Owners of buildings with single ownership; and

A property management company or a qualified service provider (QSP) can also submit an application on behalf of the above applicant with written authorisation of the applicant.

Note: Please refer to the "Smart Power Building Fund Guide to Application" for programme details and eligibility.

Appendix 2
Smart Power Care Fund

Features:

• Assisting disadvantaged households in HK Electric's supply area to save energy and improve electrical safety as well as offering relief to those in need. There are three programmes as follows:

Energy-Efficient Appliances Subsidy

Eligible households living in HK Electric's supply area may apply for a one-off subsidy capped at $5,000 for:

o Replacement of the existing household electrical appliances by more energy-efficient models

o Provision of new energy-efficient household electrical appliances

o Provision of handy improvement works for safe use of electricity

Beneficiaries of the Government's Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme,customers participating in HK Electric's Concessionary Tariff Schemes, and eligible tenants of sub-divided units (SDUs) may apply.

SDU Rewiring Subsidy

Eligible SDU tenants without individual HK Electric's tariff meters may have the option to apply for a one-off subsidy with a higher cap for rewiring and installation of separate electricity tariff meters capped at $15,000 per SDU, subject to an overall cap of $45,000 for the flat before subdivision.

The applicant shall obtain prior consent of other SDU tenants in the flat, the landlord and Building Owners'Corporations, in compliance with technical and safety requirements.

SDU Electricity Charges Relief

Eligible SDU tenants within HK Electric's supply area without individual HK Electric tariff meters who are on CSSA may also apply for a subsidy of $500 per household every year between 2019 and 2023.

This is in addition to the two subsidy schemes above.

Note : Please refer to the Guide to Application of each programme under the Smart Power Care Fund" for details and eligibility.

Appendix 3
Smart Power Education Fund

Features:

Promoting Energy Efficiency & Conservation (EE&C), low carbon lifestyle and the application of renewable energy through different educational and promotional activities.

• The budget will be $5 million per year, to be generally allocated to the following three areas:

Activities and programmes organised under HK Electric's Smart Power Campaign including exhibitions, school talks, visits and training courses, etc.;

Community-based education and promotion for different sectors, e.g. property management sector, education sector, HK Electric customers and the community at large; a

Sponsorships for seminars, conferences, exhibitions and activities organised by the Government, professional bodies, NGOs, community and green groups.

• An Advisory Committee comprising representatives from various stakeholder groups, including the Government, the academia, the engineering sector, green groups, etc., is set up to discuss and endorse the theme and direction of the programmes on a yearly basis.


Appendix 4
Smart Power Energy Audit

Features:

• Providing free energy audit service to help non-residential customers identify energy saving potential for improving energy efficiency at their business premises.

• Energy audit service scope includes:

Site inspection of business premises;

Analysis of energy efficiency performance;

Identification of energy saving opportunities; and

Audit report on findings and recommendations.

Eligibility:

• Non-residential customers of HK Electric.

• Priority will be given to customers who have fewer resources and/or have not conducted energy audits before.

Appendix 5
Smart Power Loan Fund

Features:

• The scope of the Fund covers projects approved by the Smart Power Building Fund or suggested projects arising from the Smart Power Energy Audit.

• Under the Smart Power Loan Fund, collaborating banks will facilitate the loans for participants to implement energy efficiency projects while HK Electric will subsidise the corresponding loan interests.

• The eligible loan principal amount will be capped at $3 million or 80% of the approved project cost (after deducting other subsidies, loans, etc. including the Smart Power Building Fund subsidy, if any), whichever is lower. The eligible loan period will be capped at 5 years.

• The cumulative loan principal amount for each eligible customer will be capped at $6 million.

Eligibility:

• Customers approved by the Smart Power Building Fund.

• Successful participants of the Smart Power Energy Audit.

Mr. Wan Chi-tin (right) together with Mr. Wong Kam-sing (left) officially launch the “Smart Power Services”.

Mr. Wan Chi-tin (right) together with Mr. Wong Kam-sing (left) officially launch the "Smart Power Services".

Mr. Wan Chi-tin hopes that people from all walks of life could join hands in further enhancing energy efficiency in Hong Kong, as well as promoting energy saving and conservation in the community.

Mr. Wan Chi-tin hopes that people from all walks of life could join hands in further enhancing energy efficiency in Hong Kong, as well as promoting energy saving and conservation in the community.

Mr. Wong Kam-sing notes that the newly-established “Smart Power Care Fund” by HK Electric not only helps the underprivileged to join the energy-saving effort, but also relieves their burden of life.

Mr. Wong Kam-sing notes that the newly-established "Smart Power Care Fund" by HK Electric not only helps the underprivileged to join the energy-saving effort, but also relieves their burden of life.

The ceremony reaches its climax when Mr. Wan Chi-tin (third from right) and Mr. Wong Kam-sing (third from left) join the Smart Power Ambassadors to give a brief introduction of various Smart Power Services schemes with a doggerel.

The ceremony reaches its climax when Mr. Wan Chi-tin (third from right) and Mr. Wong Kam-sing (third from left) join the Smart Power Ambassadors to give a brief introduction of various Smart Power Services schemes with a doggerel.

A group picture of more than 50 Smart Power Ambassadors, the officiating guests and the star tutors to mark their graduation. The ambassadors will help promote green awareness and green living style in the community.

A group picture of more than 50 Smart Power Ambassadors, the officiating guests and the star tutors to mark their graduation. The ambassadors will help promote green awareness and green living style in the community.

Over 250 members from different sectors of the community participate in the launching ceremony to show their support for HK Electric’s “Smart Power Services”.

Over 250 members from different sectors of the community participate in the launching ceremony to show their support for HK Electric's "Smart Power Services".

Representatives from various organisations and buildings share their experience in joining the “Smart Power Services” to encourage more people to apply for the Services and improve energy efficiency.

Representatives from various organisations and buildings share their experience in joining the "Smart Power Services" to encourage more people to apply for the Services and improve energy efficiency.