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  1. Introduction of the Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordnance (BEEO)

    Transition to “Net-zero Electricity Generation” comes at a price while the effort on “Energy Saving and Green Buildings” to reduce the building electricity consumption can lower the cost of decarbonisation. Therefore, the Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan 2050 sets up targets to reduce the electricity consumption of commercial buildings by 30% to 40% and that of residential buildings by 20% to 30% from the 2015 level by 2050, and to achieve half of the above targets by 2035.

    Hong Kong's buildings account for about 90% of the city's electricity use. Over 50% of our carbon emissions are attributable to generating electricity for our buildings. Thus, achieving energy saving in the building sectors is the primary target for the long-term. In October 1998, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department has launched the voluntary Hong Kong Energy Efficiency Registration Scheme for Buildings to promote the application of the Building Energy Code. Since 21 September 2012, the Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance (BEEO) came into full operation by mandating the specified requirements to comply with the Building Energy Code (BEC) in respect of regulating the minimum energy efficiency standards of the design of building services installations in newly constructed buildings and major retrofitting works in existing buildings; and requiring owners of commercial buildings to conduct energy audit according to the Energy Audit Code (EAC).

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  2. The BEEO covers thirteen (13) prescribed buildings, including

    1. Commercial building.
    2. A portion of a composite building that is not for residential or industrial use.
    3. Hotel and guesthouse.
    4. Common area of a residential building.
    5. Common area of a portion of a composite building that is for residential or industrial use.
    6. Common area of an industrial building.
    7. Building that is occupied principally for an education purpose.
    8. Building that is occupied principally as a community building including a community hall and social services centre and composite building occupied as 2 or more such places.
    9. Building that is occupied principally as a municipal services building including a market, cooked food centre, library, cultural centre and indoor games hall and composite building occupied as 2 or more such places.
    10. Building that is occupied principally for medical and health care services including a hospital, clinic and rehabilitation centre.
    11. Building that is owned by the Government and used principally for the accommodation of people during the performance of any function of the Government.
    12. Passenger terminal building of an airport.
    13. Railway station.

    The three (3) key requirements of the BEEO:

    1. The developers or building owners of newly constructed buildings should ensure that the four (4) key types of building services installation including
      1. air-conditioning installation;
      2. lighting installation;
      3. electrical installation; and
      4. IV. lift and escalator installation
      comply with the design standards of the Code of Practice for Energy Efficiency of Building Services Installation (BEC).
    2. The responsible persons such as owners, tenants or occupiers in buildings should ensure that the four (4) key types of building services installation therein comply with the design standards of the BEC when undergoing “major retrofitting works”.
    3. The owners of commercial buildings including the commercial portions of composite buildings like shopping malls under residential storeys should carry out energy audit for the four (4) key types of Central Building Services Installation therein in accordance with the Code of Practice for Building Energy Audit (EAC) once every ten (10) years.

    In order to ensure the prescribed building is designed and constructed with minimal energy performance set by the BEEO, the developer is requested to submit a “stage one declaration” and a “stage two declaration” to the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) to apply for a Certificate of Compliance Registration (COCR) and engage a Registered Energy Assessor (REA) to

    1. certify and submit the “stage one declaration” within 2 months after the day on which the “consent to the commencement of building works” for superstructure construction
    2. submit the certified “stage two declaration” within 4 months after the day on which the “occupation permit” is given.

    The COCR is valid for ten (10) years.

    Similarly, for any building major retrofitting works, such as replacement of lift or major air-conditioning equipment, the owner(s) or tenant is required to obtain a certified Form of Compliance (FOC) from the engaged REA within two months of completion of works.

    For those commercial buildings completed with energy audit, the owners are required to exhibit the valid Energy Audit Form in a conspicuous position at the main entrance of the building.

    For the detailed requirements and procedures, please refer to the leaflets, pamphlets and Frequently Asked Questions.

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  3. Following the enactment of the BEEO in 2012, the BEC and the EAC were promulgated at the same time to regulate the energy efficiency of buildings services installations.

    Both BEC and EAC are reviewed once every 3 years. Today, a total of 3 major reviews had already been conducted.

    The new edition of BEC 2021 has been fully implemented on 1 July 2022 for Stage One Declaration (new building projects) and 1 October 2022 for Form of Compliance (major retrofitting works) respectively.

    Under the 2021 edition of the BEC, the energy efficiency standards of building services Installations were uplifted comprehensively, with an overall improvement of more than 15% in energy saving as compared with the 2015 edition.

    Also, the electricity conserved from implementing energy saving measures related to the BEEO is about 1,500 million kWh by 2020 from 2015.

    Since the implementation of the BEEO in 2012, it has covered over 2,200 new buildings and 14,000 major retrofitting works of existing buildings that comply with the energy efficiency standards. In addition, over 2,600 commercial buildings have carried out their first round of energy audit, yielding fruitful results. We are very grateful to stakeholders including Registered Energy Assessors, developers, building owners, property management companies and the trade etc. on their participation and commitment for long-term decarbonisation and sustainable development in Hong Kong.

    To ease the submission process, in addition to by mail and delivery in person, EMSD has also allowed E-submission via EMSD Web-Based Regulatory Services by using iAMSmart+.

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  4. We are consulting the trade on the proposal to amend the BEEO for strengthening the energy efficiency of buildings and promote decarbonisation in Hong Kong, including extending the scope of regulation to more types of buildings, mandating the disclosure of information related to energy audit reports and shortening the interval of energy audits, with the target of finalising the proposed amendments and commencing the legislative work within 2024. For viewing and downloading the consultation paper, please click here.

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  5. To assist developers, owners or responsible persons to comply with the requirements of the Ordinance, the Ordinance sets up the role of Registered Energy Assessor (REA).

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