More smart meters, customised energy-saving tips and incentives for going green for consumers

From December this year, about 1,000 households in Jurong, who already have advanced meters, will receive a monthly Customised Household Energy Efficiency Report for six months. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Households have long been urged to go green, and soon more homes in Singapore will have the tools to teach them how to do so on the energy front.

Three new initiatives announced on Tuesday (Nov 5) will provide households with more information on when and how much electricity they are using so they have a better idea of where and when they can start cutting down on usage.

The three initiatives are the installation of advanced meters islandwide, having customised energy-saving tips sent to certain homes and incentives for going green.

The new meters will allow households to track their electricity consumption every half-hour, instead of current analogue meters that are read manually once every two months.

As at end-September 2019, about 290,000 such meters had been installed at households across Singapore, said the Energy Market Authority. The remaining 1.1 million homes will have them installed within the next five years.

Civil servant Tan Ian Wern, 30, who earlier this year had an advanced meter installed in his condominium, said the information helped him and his wife manage their electricity use.

"Because the data is provided more frequently, we could tell that the majority of our electricity use was due to the air-conditioner," said Mr Tan. "We saw a massive spike in consumption whenever we turned it on." Now, he and his wife try not to turn on the air-conditioner for long hours, and make it a point to cool only the smaller spaces, such as the bedroom, instead of the living room.

As part of another initiative, the EMA and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) will be studying how customised energy-saving tips can prompt households to use less.

From December this year, about 1,000 households in Jurong, which already have advanced meters, will receive a monthly Customised Household Energy Efficiency Report for six months, which is the duration of the trial.

The report aims to help households understand how their daily activities drive electricity use, and provide customised energy savings tips to help them save electricity.

Mr Albert Chua, MEWR permanent secretary, said: "Through the energy reports, we hope to empower households to make simple, positive changes to their daily routines, such as switching off appliances when not in use."

Finally, utility firm SP Group will be enhancing its SP Utilities mobile app to provide more timely and useful information to help households to be more energy-conscious and efficient.

Households can also be rewarded with virtual points, such as "leaves" - that can eventually be used to redeem shopping vouchers - whenever they undertake certain green activities, such as opting for electronic billing.

Mr Wong Kim Yin, group chief executive of SP Group, said that users will soon also be able to use the Carbon Footprint Tracker in the app to determine their carbon footprint.

He said: "With these tools, everyone can take action and make changes to their lifestyle habits towards a more sustainable future."

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