In April 2006, the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) officially launched the 'Top-1,000 Program,' which targets energy efficiency improvements in the 1,000 largest enterprises that together consume one-third of all China's primary energy. Over the summer of 2006, targets were set for each enterprise by NDRC in order to reach the overall savings target of 100 Mtce.
NDRC held training workshops in October 2006 to inform the enterprises of various aspects of the program. Since then, enterprises have been asked to perform energy audits and to develop energy action plans outlining how they are going to meet their energy-saving targets. The enterprises have found this task difficult due to the lack of qualified auditing personnel and institutions.
In 2006, the energy consumption per unit of GDP declined 1.23 percent compared with 2005. NDRC recently reported that the steel industry – which is the sector with the largest number of enterprises and highest total energy consumption in the Top-1000 program -- experienced a decrease in overall energy consumption of 8.8 percent between 2005 and 2006 and unit energy consumption for producing one ton of steel declined 7.1 percent.