Government to lift controversial air conditioning order Sunday

Taipei--A temporary government order requiring public agencies and organizations to turn off their air conditioning systems every afternoon to save power is expected to be lifted Sunday, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (???) said Tuesday.

The Executive Yuan issued the order to reduce power consumption after Taiwan's electricity reserves were cut when a transmission tower operated by independent power producer Ho-Ping Power Co. (????) was blown to the ground by Typhoon Nesat on July 29.

The power transmission tower's collapse reduced supply by 1.3 million kilowatts (kW), or about 4 percent of the country's operating reserves, and expectations are that it will be repaired and power will be restored by Sunday, according to Hsu.

To cope with a tighter power supply in the interim, the Cabinet called for air conditioners in public buildings to be turned off between the peak consumption hours of 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. starting July 31, a measure that drew a lot of opposition, including from postal workers.

According to a United Daily News report on Tuesday, the Executive Yuan was considering lifting the order on Wednesday but will maintain its request that air conditioning thermostats be set at 28 degrees Celsius.

In response, Hsu said the electricity conservation measure will remain in place on Wednesday and will be suspended only if the repairs on the Ho-Ping Power tower are completed earlier than expected.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel