(June 16, 2009) The Legislative Yuan passed amendments to Taiwan's Energy Management Act on June 9, 2009. The revision of the Act is the least controversial among the three pieces of energy legislation being promoted by the government; the other two are draft bills for a Renewable Energy Act and a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act. Highlights of the amended Energy Management Act are
- large gathering places (e.g., supermarkets, department stores, hospitals, and government buildings) must comply with energy efficiency requirements; those that do not will face a maximum fine of NT$100,000 (about US$3,300) for each violation. If improvements are not made, the fine can be imposed repeatedly and it can be multiplied. Acts typifying failure to comply include setting air conditioning temperatures too low or using inefficient lighting systems.
- manufacturers and importers of energy equipment and appliances must clearly label their products to indicate their energy consumption and efficiency levels. Products that do not meet this requirement may not be imported into or sold in Taiwan.
- to implement the government's policy of ensuring a stable energy supply, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) is obliged to submit energy development guidelines to the Executive Yuan (the Cabinet) for approval and implementation.
- the MOEA must establish guidelines, standards, and methods for the disposal of waste products that result from the use of all forms of energy, as well as standards for fines to be imposed on energy producers that fail to meet the disposal requirements.
- electronics, steel, petro-chemical, and similar firms that seek to build new plants or expand existing ones must submit an energy use statement to the MOEA. Construction may only begin after the statement has been approved.
An addendum to the amendment that was also passed by the Legislative Yuan prohibits the authorities “from violating the rights of pre-existing energy consumers; from interfering in the productive activities of the agricultural, forestry, fishing and grazing sectors; and from violating the domicile rights of ordinary citizens during inspections.” (Energy Legislation Passed, UNITED DAILY NEWS, June 10, 2009, TAIWAN TODAY website, available at http://taiwantoday.tw/ct.asp?xItem=52430&ctNode=448&mp=9; Legislative Yuan at the Third Reading Passes Amended “Energy Management Law” [text of amendments, in Chinese], LAWBANK, June 10, 2009, available at http://www.lawbank.com.tw/fnews/news.php?keyword=&sdate=&edate=&