Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan has called on civil servants in the central Government departments to set aside their smart formal suits and put on casual outer wears on most occasions during office hours in a bid to save more power and energy.
"It has been a very good move for civil servants to dress casual other than on some very important occasions. This initiative should be continued," Xinhua quoted Zeng as saying at a meeting on energy conservation efforts of government bodies on Monday.
Zeng said air-conditioning units in office buildings should continue to be set no cooler than 26 degrees Celsius in summer, and no warmer than 20 degrees Celsius in winter.
Even at some high-profile political events, top Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao, were once pictured wearing open-necked shirts with short sleeves, rather than their normal jackets and ties when attending a key conference on June 25 of this year.
They were trying to set an example for all the office workers to dress in light, casual clothing in summer in order to reduce the use of air conditioners.
Zeng also urged that more energy-saving and environment-friendly products should be included in government procurement lists, to serve as a guiding hand to see more of such products purchased in the whole society. He asked government institutions to buy more energy-saving cars for official use, and cut the number of cars in use as many as possible.
He also called on government departments to make working conferences shorter and promote water-saving facilities to the end of energy conservation.
In 2006, China's central government departments saw the consumption of electricity per person drop 12 percent and consumption of water fall 19 percent, with the overall energy consumption per person down six percent.
Government institutions across the country aimed to lower energy consumption per unit of office building and per person both by more than 20 percent in 2010, down from the level in 2005.