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Economics Ministry to introduce energy conservation measures
Central News Agency
2014-06-19 09:08 PM
Taipei, June 19 (CNA) The Ministry of Economic Affairs plans to encourage energy conservation by subjecting industrial consumers of "unreasonably" high amounts of power to close supervision as of August with the risk of fines for those who do not improve. The ministry unveiled the new measure during a report on a national energy efficiency movement at the Executive Yuan. After hearing the report, Premier Jiang Yi-huah urged the public to heed the call for conservation in the hopes of reducing national energy consumption by 1 percent, or about 2.45 billion kWh of electricity, per year. Jiang said that Taiwan depends on imports for nearly 98 percent of its energy consumption, and its independent power grid cannot connect with its neighbors to meet each other's energy needs, making it difficult to maintain a stable power supply. The situation has not been helped by the government's decision to seal off the nearly completed fourth nuclear plant in late April under pressure from the public. Whether the controversial plant will ever start operations will be decided by a future referendum. Nuclear energy accounts for 18.8 percent of total electricity generated in Taiwan. Jiang cautioned that the government may be forced to adjust prices and supplies of energy when the country's three other nuclear power facilities are gradually phased out. He said that he hopes the public will help work toward the annual energy reduction target. The government has pushed several energy conservation and carbon reduction measures over the past few years to some positive effect. Jiang listed discount rates for consumers who have managed to reduce electricity usage, an energy-efficiency rating system for homes, and subsidies for buying energy-efficient electronics. But he said more will have to done to produce better results. Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch said at a press conference after the meeting that his ministry has plans for other measures targeting industrial consumers, including setting energy saving targets for large consumers and requirements for the services industry to follow, such as keeping air conditioners set to 26 degree Celsius or higher and making sure cold air is not leaking out. (By Tang Pei-chun and Evelyn Kao)
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