The State Council, or China’s Cabinet, on Wednesday approved an energy consumption control target, part of the country’s efforts to correct overuse and foster greener growth.
The government aims to keep total energy consumption below 4 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent by 2015, with electricity consumption below 6.15 trillion kilowatt hours, according to a statement released after a State Council meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.
To meet the target, average annual energy consumption growth should be controlled at around 4.3 percent between 2011 and 2015, lower than the 6.6-percent annual increase realized between 2006 and 2010.
Control goals will be split and distributed among local governments, and enterprises will be urged to take more responsibility in energy conservation and environmental protection, the statement said.
The government should boost the role of market forces and innovation when working to improve electricity pricing mechanisms, push forward resource tax reform, and expand the energy-saving service industry, it said.
Efforts will also be directed to improve related laws, regulations and standards, and a national energy survey will be conducted when the time is right, the statement said.
The government should promote its public services in energy supply and strictly prohibit forced power rationing for residential use, it said.
In 2010, China’s primary energy consumption rose 5.9 percent year on year to 3.25 billion tonnes of coal equivalent, making it the world’s second largest energy consumer after the United States.
Electricity used last year grew 5.5 percent from 2011 to 4.96 trillion kilowatt hours, according to National Energy Administration data.