Smart meters to help more homes go green

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.
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

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 yesterday will provide households with more information on when and how much electricity they are using so they have a better idea of how they can start cutting down on usage.

For this, advanced meters will be installed islandwide, customised energy-saving tips will be sent to certain homes and there will be more 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 this year, about 290,000 such meters had been installed in households across Singapore, said the Energy Market Authority (EMA).

The remaining 1.1 million homes will have them installed within the next five years.

The information from his advanced meter has helped civil servant Tan Ian Wern, 30, 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, the couple use the air-conditioner less and make it a point to cool only smaller spaces, such as the bedroom.

 
 
 

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

From next month, about 1,000 households in Jurong, which already have advanced meters, will receive a monthly Customised Household Energy Efficiency Report for six months. The report aims to help households understand how their daily activities drive electricity use.

Permanent Secretary for the Environment and Water Resources Albert Chua 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 enhance its SP Utilities mobile app to provide more timely and useful information to help households be more energy-conscious and efficient. Households can be rewarded with virtual points, such as "leaves" - that can be used to redeem shopping vouchers - when they undertake certain green activities.

Mr Wong Kim Yin, group chief executive at SP Group, said users can also soon use the app to determine their carbon footprint.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2019, with the headline 'Smart meters to help more homes go green'. Print Edition | Subscribe