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    Dec 30, 2013

    Malaysia shopping malls feel the heat


    IT'S going to get warmer indoors

    next year as shopping malls, tall buildings and offices in Malaysia raise air-condition temperatures to cut electricity costs.

    The government announced a 15 per cent hike in electricity tariffs starting next year in a bid to trim fuel subsidies.

    The Malaysian Association for Shopping and Highrise Complex Management is advising its 400-odd members nationwide to set their air-conditioning at 23 deg C or 24 deg C.

    According to the association, air-conditioning accounts for the largest share of energy consumption - about 65 per cent - in commercial buildings.

    Its president, Mr H. C. Chan, said most malls in the country are now too cold, with temperatures ranging from 21 deg C to 23 deg C.

    "We can and should move up a few degrees, especially now with mounting energy costs. The reality is that we need to be energy-efficient and eliminate waste because electricity is our single largest expenditure," he said.

    Mr Chan noted that governments in countries like China and Singapore issue guidelines to regulate temperatures in commercial buildings at between 24 deg C and 26 deg C.

    Building Management Association of Malaysia and International Real Estate Federation of Malaysia committee member Richard Chan said air-conditioning accounts for the bulk of the electricity bill for malls and high-rises.

    He said: "The bigger malls or complexes pay anything from RM2 million (S$772,000) to RM3 million monthly on air-conditioning alone."

    Some buildings feel warm inside because of poor ventilation, and he proposed that the management look into improving air circulation.