SMEs in food, retail can apply for $30,000 energy efficiency grant from Sept 1

MOF in June said the grant will be capped at $30,000 per company. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the food services, food manufacturing and retail sectors can start applying for the Energy Efficiency Grant from Thursday (Sept 1).

This was announced by Ms Low Yen Ling, Minister of State for Trade and Industry at the annual SME Centre Conference on Wednesday.

She said the grant, first announced by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) last June, offers funding support for companies looking to adopt energy-efficient equipment and reduce overall running costs.

MOF in June said the grant will be capped at $30,000 per company and will cover energy-efficient equipment in categories such as LED lighting, air-conditioners, cooking hobs, refrigerators, water heaters and dryers.

Ms Low also announced that Enterprise Singapore is collaborating with French multinational company Schneider Electric on a decarbonisation programme for SMEs.

The programme will link SMEs with experts who will help them set decarbonisation targets, access energy efficiency services, and take actionable steps to reduce energy use and emissions, she said.

"We hope that through this SME Kickstarter Decarbonisation Programme, SMEs will not only actively monitor their energy consumption but also use energy-efficient solutions to reduce business costs and become more sustainable in the long run," Ms Low said.

The minister said SMEs should harness new opportunities in the green economy as a new avenue of growth in the post-pandemic era.

Fresh possibilities for growth have opened up as climate change concerns are spurring governments, businesses and consumers to place greater emphasis on reducing their carbon footprint and becoming more sustainable, she said at the conference, organised by the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Referring to the Green Plan 2030, Ms Low said the Government has set concrete and ambitious targets to help Singapore move towards a greener future.

"Each of you here today plays a pivotal role in our green transition and how we can make this green transformation work for Singapore," she said, promising that the Government will spare no efforts to help SMEs stay competitive and relevant in the green economy.

Ms Low said the Government has launched a range of support schemes and measures to help SMEs embrace sustainability and be part of this emerging green future.

"We recognize that SMEs need an extra boost to get started."

Embarking on their sustainability journey, SMEs can also tap the Enterprise Sustainability Programme (ESP), launched in October last year by EnterpriseSG.

ESP provides training and awareness for SMEs that are new or in the early stages of their green journey.

The subsidised training courses are organised by EnterpriseSG in partnership with Global Compact Network Singapore, PwC Singapore, and the Singapore Environment Council.

In the area of funding, Ms Low said SMEs can tap on additional support, such as the Enterprise Financing Scheme - Green, to access financing for capability-building projects or new sustainable solutions.

She announced that since the launch of the ESP, over 300 local SMEs have participated in awareness and education programmes, while more than 40 sustainability-related projects are being developed, with the support of EnterpriseSG.

Ms Low gave the example of Yeap Transport, a local private bus operator, that has undertaken a climate strategy and footprint study to measure its carbon emissions. It has also developed a sustainability roadmap to help the company achieve net zero emissions by turning its bus fleet electric.

The conference was also addressed by Mr Neil Parekh, chairman of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Ms Fang Eu-Lin, partner and sustainability and climate change leader at PwC Singapore; and Mr Benjamin Henry Towell, executive director for sustainability at OCBC.

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