Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance (BEEO)

Location: Hong Kong, China

Population: 7.507 million

Climate: Humid Subtropical

Duration: 2012- ongoing?

Sector: Buildings

Funding sources: Public sector

City networks: C40

Savings: It is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and energy savings [source].

Solutions: The Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance (BEEO) of Hong Kong plays a role as an effective and legislative means to enhance the energy efficiency of buildings.

Multiple benefits: It helps address the split-incentive issue in the market for building energy improvement works.

The law was officially conceived in December 2010 and fully applied in September 2012 to impose building energy efficiency as a way to work towards mitigation action for climate change.

Objective – The BEEO was conceived to facilitate the establishment of building energy efficiency under a regulatory framework. The condition to perform an energy audit was also planned to enable behaviour change in energy consumption.

Solutions – The BEEO includes new construction and major commercial building retrofits. The main goal of the ordinance is to foster energy efficiency through rigorous codes of practice and energy audits. The role of Registered Energy Assessors is crucial for the ordinance´s implementation by certifying compliance with building service design and executing energy audits.

The BEEO is composed of the following three central elements depicted below:

  1. Building Energy Code (BEC): New construction and existing buildings executing major retrofits must comply with BEC minimum standards and conditions for four key building service installations (including air-conditioning).
  2. Energy Audit Code (EAC): Every ten years, an energy audit must be performed following the EAC.
  3. Registered Energy Assessors (REA): Certified REAs operate the BEC certification and energy audit works required under the ordinance. The Building Energy Efficiency Registered Energy Assessors Regulation (REA Regulation) indicates the detail of the registration and regulation.

Funding – There is no budget assigned for the BEEO´s development or implementation, as it is a regulation.

Innovation – To tackle the split-incentive problem between building owners and tenants that happens where both are unwilling to make a big initial investment to improve building energy efficiency, the Buildings Energy Efficiency Funding Scheme (BEEFS, from April 2009 to April 2012). Under the BEEFS, HK$ 450 million was assigned to subsidise building owners to perform energy-cum-carbon audits (ECAs) and to carry out energy efficiency improvement works. Subsequently, the BEEFS has also increased community awareness in building energy efficiency (among other activities).

Success factors – 1) Stakeholder engagement. The BEEO team consulted with building stakeholders (i.e. developers, owners) on design aspects during the design phase. This task facilitated them to get feedback regarding ordinance requisites before the law drafting process was finalised. This stakeholder engagement allowed the stakeholders to feel that their considerations were integrated into the drafting of the final ordinance. Nevertheless, the BEEO team also involved various stakeholders after implementing the ordinance to have a more comprehensive understanding of the building community, including other relevant building industry actors; 2) Concerted effort from the building trade. The confidence in REAs to certify the energy efficiency of buildings and execute energy audits has been key to dealing with a large number of existing buildings in Hong Kong.

Significant outcomes:

  • Data collected so far is not enough for a relevant evaluation of progress by the BEEO towards national climate targets.
  • However, it is estimated that the BEEO will drive energy savings of around 2.8 billion kWh for new buildings and a decrease of 1.96 million tonnes CO2 emissions for the first decade of implementation.

Synergies with local policies:

Political alignment:

  • The 13th Energy Five-Year Plan (FYP) was adopted by National Energy Administration on the 10th of December 2016, establishing targets for renewable energy deployment until 2020. Furthermore, the 14th FYP is on the way with new climate and energy targets (i.e. binding targets on carbon intensity) [source].

Marketability: N/A

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Sector: Buildings

Country / Region: China

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: Urban Efficiency I

Publishing year: 2022