The country's most populated city has adopted a programme to save power and promote the use of renewable and environmentally friendly energies.

The HCM City People's Committee last week approved Green Energy, which eventually aims to save 2 percent of electricity annually from 2015.

The target for this year is 1.2 percent, which translates into 400 million kWh in a city with a population of over 8 million.

By 2015 more than 1 percent of the city's total consumption, or 48MW, is expected to be provided by new and renewable energies.

To promote the development of renewable and environmentally friendly energies, the programme seeks to educate people about the importance of green energy and raise public awareness of energy efficiency.

The city, which has 150-300 hours of sunshine a month, has yet to take full advantage of its solar energy potential, with renewable energy generally failing to attract investments and the city lacking funds.

The generation of renewable energy is a meagre 3MW, which is produced by a plant fuelled by garbage.

Around 50,000 houses are built and renovated every year but only around 3,400 of them have solar water heaters installed.

The city plans to increase by 3 percent every year the number of hotels, houses, and office buildings that use these heaters.

It also seeks to use advanced technologies to reduce the energy consumed by equipment and vehicles, and improve research in renewable and clean energies.

Since 2007 the southern commercial hub has taken many measures to improve energy efficiency, resulting in savings of more than 1 trillion kWh.

Last year was the best, with more than 391 million kWh saved.-VNA