[Act] Reform our Energy Market

We hung a large banner above the Christmas lights strung up at the Harbour City Shopping Arcade in Tsim Sha Tsui. The banner read: “Shopping malls get 40% discount on their electricity bills, while ordinary citizens need to pay more.”

We hung a large banner above the Christmas lights strung up at the Harbour City Shopping Arcade in Tsim Sha Tsui. The banner read: “Shopping malls get 40% discount on their electricity bills, while ordinary citizens need to pay more.”

The last few years have seen several significant tariff increases from Hong Kong's two power companies, in the face of which, people like you and me are helpless. Have you had this feeling?   In 2008, the government and the two power companies made a new “Scheme of Control Agreement” which although it capped profits still meant that the advantage of tariff fixing lay in the hands of the power companies.  This year a mid-term review of the Agreement will take place, and we have been using the months leading up to that to highlight the urgency of reforming the power market to make it fairer for the people.

Shopping Malls of Squander

Back on September 26th last year we released the results of a study on how much energy six big shopping malls in Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay were wasting. Not only was their air conditioning set too high, but their lighting systems were also kept switched on until late at night. Furthermore, electrical goods stores were keeping their products switched on overnight. A big contrast to the efforts at power saving made by families and small businesses.

Paid to Waste

On November 25, we hung a large banner above the Christmas lights strung up at the Harbour City Shopping Arcade in Tsim Sha Tsui. The banner read: “Shopping malls get 40% discount on their electricity bills, while ordinary citizens need to pay more.”  Basically the more energy big commercial sector customers buy, the bigger their discounts, encouraging them to use more electricity.

CLP Sneaky Tariff Hike

On December 11th, China Light and Power said it will add 5.9% to power bills from the beginning of 2013. We responded by hanging a giant banner from the CLP building in Hung Hom, protesting that they were just using the environment as an excuse to squeeze more money from their customers.

“As Hong Kong's principal carbon polluters, the two power companies should urgently implement an energy reform.  They should also introduce a fairer pricing system so that ordinary citizens do not shoulder the costs the power companies should foot themselves.” - Prentice Koo, Greenpeace Senior Campaigner.