Summer dress code needs shift
While many companies insist employees follow a strict professional dress
code, even in the summer, power officials proposed they adjust the policy
Electricity officials said that since people have to wear long
sleeve shirts or even suits, more power is consumed as offices crank up air
conditioners to keep employees cool during hot and humid weather.
is too rigid," said Wang Qinghua, an official with the Shanghai Hunan Electric
Power Co, which supplies power to Luwan, part of Huangpu and Xuhui districts,
where the office buildings are concentrated.
"It is normal for office workers
in long sleeve shirts and suits to set air conditioners below 26 degrees
The municipal government recommended offices set air conditioners
to 26 degrees this summer to reduce power usage, which drains 25 percent of the
city's power supply in the summer that causes chronic shortages.
If all air
conditioners are set one degree lower, about 300,000 kilowatts of energy can be
saved, officials estimated.
But the government's proposal would be difficult
to follow if companies insist on following strict dress codes.
"We have to
wear at least long sleeve shirts and ties at work, and suits are recommended to
boost the company's image," said Sunny Zhou, who works at a consulting
Energy conservation authorities have encountered many similar cases in
"If people wear thick clothes then they set air conditioners at
lower temperatures," said Yang Jinde, an official with the Shanghai Energy
Conservation Supervision Center.
"The dress code should be flexible, at least
in summer with expected power shortages."