Electrical upgrading of HDB blocks is ongoing, cost nearly $1 billion so far: Khaw

A view of the Toa Payoh housing estate taken at night on Oct 3, 2009. Nearly 2,400 blocks of Housing Board flats have been upgraded since 1995 to support the higher electricity consumption of modern lifestyles, said Minister for National Development
A view of the Toa Payoh housing estate taken at night on Oct 3, 2009. Nearly 2,400 blocks of Housing Board flats have been upgraded since 1995 to support the higher electricity consumption of modern lifestyles, said Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Nearly 2,400 blocks of Housing Board flats have been upgraded since 1995 to support the higher electricity consumption of modern lifestyles, said Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan.

Another 4,000 blocks will be upgraded "in due course", he wrote in a blog post uploaded on Monday. The upgrading has cost the HDB nearly $1 billion so far.

Mr Khaw said in the post: "Technology has transformed our lifestyles. The majority of homes today, quite unlike in the past, have mobile phones, tablets, PCs, TVs and air conditioning."

"These gadgets have raised our quality of life, but they have also pushed up electricity consumption in homes."

HDB blocks built before 1990 were provided with main switches of 30 amps, based on the prevailing standard specification, he added. Newer blocks are provided with main switches of 40 amps to support higher electricity consumption.

This is why the older blocks are being upgraded to provide a higher electrical loading, which minimises electrical power trips.

Mr Khaw said electrical upgrading is costly "as the works are extensive and involve building new infrastructure such as electrical substations and laying higher capacity underground cables".

To find out if your block has been upgraded to a higher electrical loading, check https://www.hdb.gov.sg/bn25/isos119p.nsf/Search?OpenForm.

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