Thailand planning nationwide campaign to promote public awareness of green buildings, with goal of lowering average electricity demand at office buildings to less than 225 kWh/year

, December 13, 2013 () – Section: General News - Officials plan to launch a nationwide campaign to promote public awareness of green buildings, the Bangkok Post reports.

The Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE) will draft measures to create greater concern among the public, including a grant that covers 20% of the modification cost to make a building greener, said deputy director-general Twarath Sutabutr.

The new campaign is aimed at cutting average electricity demand at office buildings to below 225 kilowatt-hours (or units) a year.

Under the world standard for green buildings, each should consume less than 170 units a year.

The cost of a green building is 25-30% higher than for a conventional building, but operating cost is 25-30% lower.

"We plan to promote greater concern among property developers because more and more high-rise buildings will be developed in the next several years," said Mr Twarath.

The public has grown more conscious of energy savings in the light of waning natural gas supplies from Myanmar.

Many buildings have raised thermostat temperatures to 25C or higher, with some being converted to green buildings.

The number of green buildings with LEED certification was 15 nationwide as of May this year. Some 70-80 buildings are in the process of getting LEED-certified.

"With this aggressive approach, the DEDE expects new office buildings to consume 20% less energy than existing ones by 2030," said Mr Twarath.

A DEDE report said commercial buildings in Thailand ran up electric bills of 53.8 billion baht in 2012.

Suvarnabhumi airport consumed 928 million baht worth of electricity in 2012, ranking at the top in Thailand in terms of power consumption, followed by Siam Paragon (495 million baht), Central World (310 million baht) and Siriraj Hospital (259 million baht).

The Park Ventures Ecoplex on Phloenchit Road consumed an average of 137 units per sq m in 2012 and expects to reduce its usage to 110 units in 2013.

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