Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The 2008-09 budget is an invitation to waste more energy

Financial Secretary John Tsang has shown how much the government cares about the environment. With the excuse of improving people's livelihood and supporting disadvantaged groups his budget allocates HK$4.3 billion to subside domestic electricity accounts. The 2008-09 budget grants each residential electricity account a subsidy of $1,800. At present, about 15 per cent of households in Hong Kong pay an average of not more than $150 a month for electricity charges. Incidentally I pay less than that, mainly because i live on Lamma island, and can keep my windows open instead of relying on air-con.
Instead of rewarding households that save energy, the subsidy will enable even low income households to turn up their air-con, boosting the revenue of electricity companies. The real winners are the shareholders of HK Electric and China Light & Power, the loser is obviously the environment. So much for sustainability.

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