Enable residents to opt for greener electricity provider

From next year, Jurong residents will be able to choose from multiple electricity providers, and an online platform will allow them to compare different price packages (Jurong residents can choose electricity provider from April; Oct 21).

I welcome the good news. I also urge the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and electricity providers to go a step further in giving consumers information on the carbon footprint of the electricity provided.

In Singapore, energy consumption is one of the major sources of carbon emissions.

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

Price may not be the only factor when they decide on an electricity provider. They may prefer a greener provider that generates less carbon dioxide for the same unit of electricity generated (a smaller carbon footprint).

The new online platform should give consumers the ability to do this.

Electricity providers should disclose their carbon footprints and compete on both price and environmental performance.

This creates market incentives for providers to be more energy efficient or generate more renewable energy so as to reduce carbon emissions and be seen as a low-carbon electricity provider.

The carbon footprint information by EMA and electricity providers would give consumers more choices in selecting a provider not just based on value for money but also value for the environment. It is a step towards reducing Singapore's carbon emissions.

Eugene Tay Tse Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2017, with the headline 'Enable residents to opt for greener electricity provider'. Print Edition | Subscribe