13,000 Seoul buildings to disclose energy use
By Kim Rahn
The owners of some 13,000 buildings in Seoul, that are ranked within the top 2 percent for energy consumption, will have to make public precisely how much energy they use, according to the city government.
Those buildings will also have to maintain indoor temperatures at minimum of 26 degrees Celsius in summer and a maximum of 20 degrees during winter.
Seoul City said a revised ordinance on energy took effect Monday with more strengthened regulations.
“In Seoul, both residential and commercial buildings account for about 60 percent of total energy use, while transportation takes up 31 percent. Among energy sources, the ratio of electricity use is rapidly growing while that of oil and gas is decreasing,”said Lim Ok-ki, chief of the city’s Climate and Environment Headquarters, at a media briefing.
“The use of electricity has increased because power rates are cheap, with more and more buildings using electricity for heating and cooling. We need to take measures to save electricity to prevent a blackout from taking place,” he said.
Lim said a small number of buildings and facilities were using a huge amount of energy. In 2011, 413 buildings each consumed more than 2,000 tons of oil equivalent (TOE) per year, and their energy use accounted for 18.6 percent of the city’s total.
Except for factories and other industrial facilities, Seoul National University accounted for the highest level of energy use, followed by Lotte World, COEX, Samsung Medical Center and Asan Medical Center.
Under the revised regulations, those 413 facilities and another 12,682 that are using the bulk of the energy will have to have a sign at their entrances or in the lobbies and disclose how much energy they are using and whether it has increased or decreased compared to the same period last year.
“It is a measure so people entering the buildings realize how much energy is being used up and to encourage them to save it,” Lim said.
The facilities will also have to maintain temperatures at 26 degrees or higher between June and September and 20 degrees or lower between November and March.
Every five years, they will be monitored as to whether their energy use is suitable and whether there are ways more savings that can be made.