Sweeping Political Imperatives Cut Power to Businesses

September 29, 2010 3:20 am Last Updated: October 1, 2015 6:55 pm

A shoe factory in Wenzhou City.  (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images )
A shoe factory in Wenzhou City. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images )
Orders from the top of the Communist Party hierarchy to cut down on energy use have reverberated across the country. Factories in Wenzhou, in China’s eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, for example, had to cut their power to two-thirds capacity to meet energy saving quotas ordered by local cadres.

The policy went into effect on Sept. 16, and factories received notice only a few days before it was to take effect. They were ordered to not use power from the grid and were forbidden to use generators.

No deadline was issued about when the order would be rescinded, though personnel contacted by The Epoch Times indicated that it would be several months.

The notice issued to factories in the Ouhai District in Wenzhou city stated the power cut targets industrial and mining enterprises with an annual output valued at under five million yuan (approximately US$746,050). As such, most are small and medium-sized private enterprises.

An Epoch Times reporter called the Ouhai Electricity Consumption Monitoring Unit and inquired about the livelihood of these businesses under the power cuts. “We cannot take this into consideration,” the staff member replied. “To achieve the target the upper authorities have set, we have to comply. That is what we all have to face.”

The target refers to the energy saving and carbon emission reduction goal in China’s 11th Five Years Plan; cadre assessments at all levels are assessed in accordance with it.

The stated reasons for prohibiting auxiliary power use are to conserve energy. “Self-powered generation needs fuel, so it is prohibited. However, you can see what to do and to judge how to do it by yourself. It’s not proper for us to tell you,” the personnel said.

The staff also said that the power cut will last until the end of the year. Power use is being curtailed across the entire country, but the time varies for different provinces. Some cut three days and provide one day; Wenzhou city cuts two days and provides one day.

The staff person added that the energy-saving tasks for Zhejiang Province are relatively dire because there are more small and medium enterprises; more energy is consumed. No power limits have been set in Tibet, for example, as there is not much industry there.

Local Wenzhou factory managers interviewed by The Epoch Times complained about the cuts, but were quite helpless. One hardware manufacturer said they had no choice but to adjust to the change, others have complained—to no effect, they said.

Read the original Chinese article.