Funding Energy efficiency in Hong Kong

Today (9th April 2009) the HKSAR Government launched its building energy efficiency funding scheme and website,

This building energy efficiency funding scheme lays out the potential opportunities for the HKSAR government to spend, on a matched dollar basis, up to HK$150m to subsidize building carbon energy audits, and a further HK$300m to subsidize energy efficiency improvements projects. That is a total of HK$450m funded from the ECF (Environment and Conservation Fund).

This summary is provided without warranty, on an as is basis, refer to government website for exact phrases used.

Part 1 – Carbon Audit / Energy Audit

Introduction

The government is providing a two part programme, the first part cover carbon auditing. The government website reports that the limit for a single building the this programme will meet 50% of the approved audit cost, but not great than HK$ 150,000.  For multiple buildings under the same application presumably the programme will meet 50% of the approved cost without limitation.

Scope

I’ll cite the exact wording, you understand why in a moment:

Owners’ Corporations registered under the Building Management Ordinance (Cap. 344), owners’ organisations or residents’ organisations of residential, commercial, industrial buildings or composite buildings comprising any two of these three types of establishments are eligible to apply. An application can also be submitted by a property management company or a qualified service provider on behalf of an applicant under the latter’s authorization.

Applications from public housing estates wholly owned by Housing Authority, Housing Society, as well as Government quarters will be excluded because they may receive other forms of Government funding.

So who is legible? This programme will only cover the common areas of commercial, residential industrial or mixed use buildings operated by existing Owners corporations or residents organisations [nature of projects]. And expect to wait up to four months for an application to be approved [how to apply].

The programme will be open for three years, or until the HK150M fund is exhausted, whichever is sooner [how to apply]

Funding Limit

What are the funding limits?

Funds will be granted on a matching basis. For applications involving a single building, a limit of 50% of the approved total actual expenditure spent for the audit and subsequent reporting will be reimbursed subject to a maximum of HK$150,000 per application.

For applications involving more than one building, a limit of 50% of the approved total actual expenditure spent for the audit and subsequent reporting will be reimbursed without a maximum cap.

Commentary: ‘reimbursed’ is the key phrase, it appears that building owners will initially fund the entire cost!

Approval Process

A new committee that meets every quarter will vet applications up to HK$ 2,000,000, exceed that and an ECF committee will vet the application.

Part II – Energy Project Funding

Introduction

This part of programme has HK$ 300m allocated to provide a dollar matched subsidy for the energy efficiency projects, the programme states [Energy Efficiency Projects (EEP)]

Building services installations covered in the Programme include lighting, electrical, air-conditioning and lift and escalator installations

Commentary: By implication, other systems are excluded from this programme.

Scope

Again, I’ll cite the exact wording, you understand why in a moment:

Owners’ Corporations registered under the Building Management Ordinance (Cap. 344), owners’ organisations or residents’ organisations of residential, commercial, industrial buildings or composite buildings comprising any two of these three types of establishments are eligible to apply. An application can also be submitted by a property management company or a qualified service provider on behalf of an applicant under the latter’s authorization.

Applications from public housing estates wholly owned by Housing Authority, Housing Society, as well as Government quarters will be excluded because they may receive other forms of Government funding.

Who is legible? same group as Part I.

Project Funding Limit

What are the funding limits?

Funds will be granted on a matching basis. For applications involving a single building, a limit of 50% of the approved total actual expenditure spent for the energy efficiency projects will be reimbursed subject to a maximum of HK$500,000 per application.

For applications involving more than one building, a limit of 50% of the approved total actual expenditure spent for the energy efficiency projects will be reimbursed without a maximum cap.

Commentary: ‘reimbursed’ is the key phrase, it appears that building owners will initially fund the entire project cost!

Project Duration

What is the duration of each project?

The energy efficiency projects should commence within 12 months and complete within 24 months after the approval of the application.

Commentary: This practically excludes large projects where in the real world gaining the necessary approvals take longer than the allotted twelve month period [process]

As part I, this part of the programme will also be opened for applications for three years or until the allocated HK$300 million is fully utilized, whichever is the earlier.

Approval Process

A new committee that meets every quarter will vet applications up to HK$ 2,000,000, exceed that and an ECF committee will vet the application (same as Part I).