Make it easier for consumers to choose green power retailer

I welcome the move by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) to fully open the electricity market and allow all industries, commercial consumers and households greater flexibility and choice in their electricity consumption ("Electricity market to be fully liberalised in 2018"; Tuesday).

I suggest that the EMA go one step further by making it easier for consumers to choose a green electricity retailer, besides considering the price factor.

In Singapore, the power generation sector is a large primary source of carbon dioxide emissions.

More consumers and companies are increasingly aware of environmental issues, especially climate change and the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions.

Therefore, they may not look only at price when deciding their retailer, and may prefer a green retailer that produces less carbon dioxide for the same unit of electricity generated (a smaller carbon footprint) or has better sustainability performance, as compared with other retailers.

The EMA should consider making it mandatory for electricity retailers to disclose their carbon footprint or sustainability performance in their customer plan packages.

This would make it easier for consumers and companies to choose greener electricity, and creates market incentives for retailers to reduce carbon emissions and improve their environmental performance.

In an increasingly carbon-constrained world, electricity retailers should no longer compete on price alone, but also on their carbon footprint or sustainability performance.

Eugene Tay Tse Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2015, with the headline 'Make it easier for consumers to choose green power retailer'. Print Edition | Subscribe