Hong Kong’s energy consumption in total continues to grow with the increase in population boom. The assumption is that the population increase is in proportion to the consumption in energy. The increases in energy happened in both the residential and commercial sectors over the last decade.
However, as demonstrated by the Activity Effect, more premises are built over the last decade. Are the physical structures affecting the energy usage? Using Commercial Sector as an example, floor size is used as a proxy to explain the rise in number of restaurants, office, retail stores and others. Premises are being built larger or in greater numbers, thus, it is expected to see an increase in consumption. However, the Intensity Effect that explains the actual growth in energy usage per floor area only found in Others among the segments. It reflects that users in those premises actually have determined the amount of energy to be consumed, which is not based on the floor space.
The general assumption that the increase in energy consumption caused by weather effects has permeated mainstream thinking. While the Hong Kong Observatory recorded warmer average temperatures over the last decade, the energy usage in cooling systems, such as air conditioning or fans, is not a major factor to boost energy consumption. Judging from the figures in Weather Effect, it is not a major contributor to the surge in energy consumption.