ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai energy efficiency falls short
One of the major problems is a delay in related laws and regulations. Required qualifications of energy management auditors who will be accredited to inspect and certify the report are still awaiting approval from the Council of State.
The Act requires buildings to have energy management inspections and certification for factories and buildings that have one or more transformers over 1,175 kilowatts. These include office buildings, hotels, banks, hospitals, shopping centres, department stores, universities, schools, residential buildings, entertainment sites and government buildings.
After operators submit an energy management report, buildings need to be inspected and certified by an energy auditor, with the audit submitted to the Energy Ministry. Building owners failing to submit the report by March each year will face a maximum fine of 200,000 baht.
The Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency lists 3,647 factories and around 2,000 buildings nationwide that require an energy management inspection. In Greater Bangkok, there are 1,600 facilities - 40 percent factories and 60 percent buildings.
For factories, energy management will be based on the assessment of energy consumption compared with productivity. For buildings, it is calculated from energy consumption relative to gross areas. The system that uses the most energy in a typical building is air-conditioning.
The delay in issuing qualifications of energy management auditors means the effective date is being postponed to March 2012.
Chan Sirirat, executive director of the property consultant Touch Property Co, said most factory owners were aware they needed energy management reports because they always complied with related laws, but many building owners are not.
"Only a handful of owners acknowledge they need to inspect the energy management at their buildings," he noted. "If the law wasn't postponed, they would have to start preparing a report now or it would be too late."
The company started providing energy management reports in November and has completed over 10 while it is in talks with another 40-50 buildings.
Building owners can check the registration of their electricity account to see whether they are required to file a report, he said.
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