Increasing Energy Efficency through Retrofitting

Simple calculator tool for facility managers and investors in Hongkong released

Also available in Deutsch

Energy efficient retrofitting of commercial buildings bears a large potential of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Hong Kong and other Asian cities. The Regional Project Energy Security and Climate Change in Asia Pafic of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS RECAP) and the Hong Kong Business Environment Council (BEC) launched a guide and calculation tools for owners and managers of buildings to implement energy efficient measures.

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Demonstration of the calculator

The Business Environment Council developed the calculator for assessing the costs and benefits of energy efficient retrofitting. The use of the calculator was demonstrated during the launch.

Well over one third of Hong Kong's total greenhouse gas emissions are generated through the production of energy consumed by commercial buildings. For other Asian metropolitan areas the figure is similar. In their ambitious endavours to stand at the forefront of climate protection, the cities need to tackle the task of reducing the buildings' energy demand. However, significant results cannot be achieved by only changing the use of illumination, cooling etc. It is indeed necessary to install new energy efficient systems and replacing old ones. Such retrofitting requires expensive investments. A building can save up to 40 per cent of energy once such measures have been applied. This will bring both economic benefits to the buildings' owners and ecological gains for the city and global climate: Lower expenses for less energy result in a quick amortisation of retrofitting investment and subsequent money saving, whereas the significantly reduced use of energy contributes to the city's low-carbon transition.

Many owners of commercial buildings in Hong Kong and other cities are not aware of the efficient retrofitting measures and their economic feasability. Funded by KAS RECAP, the Hong Kong Business Environment Council developed a guide which presents and explains the various measures and their possible implementation in different types of office and hotel buildings. This guide is accompanied by a tool that allows the user to calculate the return on efficiency investments for individual buildings: How much do certain retrofitting measures roughly cost? How long is the pay-back period? Which amount could be saved yearly by using less energy? To get the results, it is sufficient to provide the calculator with a few data such as building type, size, share of the area for different use (carpark etc.) and currently installed cooling system. The results are instantly displayed in a clearly arranged way in table, chart and diagram form.

On 12 December 2017, RECAP and BEC organised a seminar to launch the guide and introduce it to the public. About 100 representatives from the business sector, administration and NGOs in Hong Kong attended the event. In their keynote speaches, Dr. Peter Hefele, Director of KAS RECAP, Ir Raymond Poon, Electrical & Mechanical Services Department of the Hong Kong Government, Mr Richard Lancaster and Ms Maya De Souza, BEC, discussed the topic from different perspectives. They highlighted the necessity and great potential of implementing energy efficient retrofit measures in commercial buildings. Following the speaches, the calculator and the way of using it were presented to the participants.

The calculator as MS Excel file along with the guide and a short introduction can be downloaded on BEC's website. The full guide can also be read online. BEC's report of the launch can be found here.


Johannes Vogel

Publication series

Event Reports


China, December 12, 2017


Dr. Peter Hefele

Head of the Regional Project Energy Security and Climate Change in Asia and Pacific

Dr. Peter Hefele
Phone +852 28822245
Fax +852 28828515
Languages: Deutsch,‎ English,‎ Français,‎ Magyar