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All govt offices to keep air-cond temperature at 24ºC from now
PUTRAJAYA: All government offices have been ordered to set their air-conditioner temperature no lower than 24 degrees Celsius to give nature a helping hand and to cut electricity bills.

The new regulation is expected to be implemented immediately although the circular on the matter will only be issued by the office of the Chief Secretary to the Government later this month.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin said the order would be extended to the private sector by 2013.

He said a new Bill on energy conservation was being drafted to compel the private sector to follow suit.

“It will be tabled in Parliament soon and we are looking at 2013 as the implementation date for the private sector.

“For now, the secretaries-general of all the ministries who are also the officers-in-charge of the buildings under their ministries must ensure that the air-conditioner temperature is set at 24 degrees Celsius and above unless under special circumstances,” he told a press conference after attending a Green Technology and Climate Change Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

It was also attended by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas.

Chin said certain places like the ICUs and operation theatres in hospitals were, however, exempted from the ruling.

He said the meeting agreed that 24 degrees Celsius was a comfortable temperature for Malaysian climate.

“It is neither too cold nor too hot. In some countries, like China, they are required to set their (air-conditioner) temperatures at 26 degrees Celsius which is too hot (for Malaysia).

“So gone are the days when the ladies have to bring their shawls to the office,” he said, referring to the common scene in many government offices where women staff covered their upper bodies with shawls due to the cold temperature.

Chin explained that for every degree dropped in air-conditioning temperature, the power usage would increase by between 4% and 7%.

He was unable to provide exact estimates on how much the Government could save with the move.

However, he said the ministry's Malaysia Green Technology Corporation building in Bangi which had already imposed the condition saved an estimated RM600,000 to RM700,000 annually on its energy bills.

“Offices in Putrajaya spend between RM30,000 and RM80,000 a month on electricity and about 40% of it is for air-conditioning,” he said.

He added that the meeting also agreed that all bulbs in government buildings that need to be changed must be replaced with energy-efficient CFL bulbs or LEDs.

On Malaysia's commitment to reduce carbon emission intensity by 40% in 2020, Chin said the country has passed the halfway mark.

“To date, we have reduced intensity by 29.7 million metric tonnes and to meet the 40% target, we need to reduce it by 40 million metric tonnes,” he said.

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