Information Paper for the
Legislative Council Panel on Housing

Lighting in Corridors of Public Housing Blocks

This paper informs Members of an environmental protection proposal of switching-off part of the corridor lighting during midnight in public rental housing (PRH) estates which have already been provided with Security System A.


2. Housing Department (HD) considers it a social obligation to adopt environmental protection measures in its building design, maintenance and management. One of the key initiatives is the proper use of energy in PRH estates. In 1984, a departmental Energy Management Coordination Committee (EMCC) was established to explore energy conservation opportunities and oversee the implementation of various measures.

3. A number of major energy management initiatives have been successfully launched over the past years. These include the conversion of tungsten filament lamps and 2x8W fluorescent lamps into the more efficient 11W compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and replacement of 125W high pressure mercury lamps with 70W high pressure sodium lamps, phasing-out of old opal diffusers with clear prismatic ones and modernization of lifts, etc. Significant energy conservation has been achieved. For instance, the 11W CFLs installation programme alone has contributed to an annual saving of energy which amounted to $10.5 million in 1998/99 in money terms.

4. In addition to the above measures, the Department considers there is an opportunity for energy saving through prudent operational means such as turning-off part of the corridor lighting when the circulation is low during certain period at midnight while maintaining a reasonable level of illumination to ensure safety and security.


5. Residents' safety and security has always been the first and foremost factor in management of PRH estates. Over the years, the Department has implemented various security and lighting improvement programmes to eliminate dark spots. We have also doubled the lighting level in many domestic blocks and communal facilities even though such provision would increase the energy bill. Any energy conservation initiative is always carefully considered in the light of its impact on residents' safety and security. In selecting estates for implementing the energy conservation proposal, factors such as crime rate and security system, etc. were all taken into account.

6. After careful study, the Department considered the proposal could be carried out in 350 Trident and Harmony blocks in 77 PRH estates (out of a total of some 1200 blocks in about 160 PRH estates) which are provided with Security System A.(Note 1) Estates not yet provided with such level of security system will not be included.

7. The Department has evaluated the technical feasibility and economic viability of the proposal and found that switching-off half or less of the corridor lighting from midnight to 0600 hours can yield an energy saving in excess of $3 million a year while maintaining an adequate lighting level to ensure safety and security. On the advice of the EMCC, the Department will consult the Estate Management Advisory Committees (EMACs) concerned on this proposal.


8. The Department has started consultation with the EMACs concerned. So far, 36 returns have been received, among which 12 have indicated their positive support while 24 disagreed to the proposal. The Department will continue to consult other EMACs.


9. We will carefully consider residents' views in taking forward this energy saving proposal. Members can rest assured that under no circumstances will their safety and security be compromised.

Housing Department
April 1999

(Note 1) Security System A provides PRH blocks with gates complete with digital combination lock and door phones in the ground floor entrances, close circuit monitoring TV system and tower guards in the ground floor lobby as well as break-in warning devices for rooftop gates.