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Applications for energy efficiency subsidy rise as price hike looms

2012/04/14 19:49:46

Taipei, April 14 (CNA) In anticipation of a hike in the price of electricity, people have been applying for government subsidies for energy efficient home appliances in greater numbers in March, Taiwan's Bureau of Energy said Saturday.

Under the bureau's subsidy program, people who bought energy efficient air conditioners, refrigerators or washing machines between Jan. 1 and March 31, and who apply before April 30, are eligible for a subsidy of NT$2,000 (US$67.75) per unit.

In the first month of the program, applications for 33,000 units were received, while applications for 58,000 units were received in February and 153,000 units in March, said officials from the bureau, which falls under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

However, the total number of applications so far has exceededthe targeted goal of 300,000 units for the period, the officials added.

Citing rising temperatures, the bureau said the number of people that applied for subsidies for their newly purchased air conditioners in March increased sharply, accounting for 48.2 percent of all applications.

They were followed by washing machines (35.1 percent) and refrigerators (16.7 percent).

The MOEA announced Thursday that a total of 7.87 million households in Taiwan will have to pay more for electricity from May 15, when an average 16.9 percent increase in rates takes effect.

(By Huang Chiao-wen and Lilian Wu)