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Beijing addresses power shortage
By Wang Zhenghua (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-06-29 23:59

To alleviate summer's unquenchable power thirst, Beijing is considering rationing electricity to luxury hotels.

The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Tourism told China Daily yesterday it plans to cut back 20 per cent of star-rated hotels' original power to save energy.

If a hotel exceeds its power quota, electricity will be switched off automatically.

An official said the bureau is still discussing the matter and no timetable has yet been announced.

At the moment in China, many regions are confronting a tight power supply.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, the country is facing its most severe power shortage this summer since the 1980s.

Zhao Xizheng, general manager of the State Power Grid Company told Xinhua earlier this month that a gap of 30 million kilowatts is being experienced this summer.

More than 500 luxury establishments are believed to consume a great deal of limited power.

Yu Changjiang, director of the bureau, told Beijing Star Daily that restaurants are being urged to take measures to save energy, though he believes the rationing will target hotels.

Temperatures in star-rated establishments are expected to stay above 26 C from 7 pm to 9 pm, because these two hours are believed to be the peak of electricity consumption.

An alarm will be sounded when the hotel has nearly run out of its restricted electricity to notify guests of a sudden blackout.

In addition, these hotels are advised to shut down air-conditioners when they are not needed.

The bureau also suggested hotels stagger peak hours of power consumption.

Government departments and other institutions are also called on to participate in the energy-saving campaign.

Starting next month, air-conditioners in government establishments are only allowed to operate for eight hours a day.

Feng Beibei, an official with the Ministry of Public Security, told China Daily that hand-driers in the bathrooms of his office building are now turned off.

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