CHINA / National

Govt program pays off in saving electricity
Updated: 2006-06-18 14:09

The Green Lighting Program, initiated by the Chinese government in 1996, has saved an estimated 59 billion kilowatt hours of electricity through the use of energy-saving lighting, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said Saturday.

He Bingguang, the deputy head of the NDRC's department for environment and resources, said China sold 820 million high-efficient lights in 2004, compared to 51.1 million in 1995.

NDRC figures show that China produced 10 billion lights in 2005, including 2.8 billion fluorescent lamps.

In the same year, China produced 1.76 billion highly-efficient impact fluorescent lamps, the most in the world.

Thanks to improved technology, the quality of electricity-saving lighting has improved over the years, He said.

A survey in 2003 show that the pass rate of impact fluorescent lamps increased from 49.5 percent in 1998 to 95.1 percent, while their average life span has risen by 4,000 hours.

He said there is still great potential for more energy savings. Fluorescent lights consume 60 to 80 percent less electricity than the incandescent lamps. It is estimated that lighting now accounts for 12 percent of China's total electricity consumption.

The Green Lighting Program is one of the 10 major energy-saving programs to be undertaken by the government during the 11th five-year-plan (2006-2010).

The priority will be given to the use of energy-saving lights in public utilities, hotels, office buildings, shopping malls, stadiums as well as homes, he said.

The government will also examine possible incentives that will encourage the production and consumption of high-efficient lighting, in addition to enhancing energy-saving awareness campaigns among the public, he said.