BEIJING - Beijing is setting up an "energy police" force to crack down on excessive lighting and heating and other power waste in shopping malls and office buildings, the China Daily said on Wednesday.
The 20 energy-efficiency supervisors would be the front line in the capital's campaign to curb power use, echoing a national drive to improve energy efficiency to curb pollution and dependence on imported oil as the economy grows.
"We have been advocating energy saving for years but it has remained only a slogan because of a lack of a supervising system," Beijing vice mayor Zhang Hao was quoted as saying.
The "energy police", as Zhang called them, would be authorised to fine owners of buildings that used too much power, adding teeth to city orders to improve energy efficiency that carried no penalties, the newspaper said.
China has struggled to generate enough power to keep up with its breakneck economic growth, about 9 percent annually, and has faced severe energy crunches the past two summers.
China consumes over four times more energy to generate a unit of GDP than the average Group of Seven developed country, according to the Asian Development Bank.