Some households to receive e-vouchers to switch to energy- and water-efficient appliances

Those eligible will receive a total of three e-vouchers totalling $225. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Households living in one- to three-room Housing Board flats can now get some help buying appliances that are more energy or water efficient, under a new programme launched on Saturday (Nov 28).

Those eligible will receive three e-vouchers totalling $225.

They include a $150 e-voucher to pay for an energy-efficient and climate-friendly refrigerator, a $50 e-voucher to offset the cost of changing their shower fittings to more water-efficient three-tick models, and a $25 e-voucher to buy LED lights.

Details of the Climate-Friendly Households Programme were announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat at the launch of the annual Clean and Green Singapore movement on Saturday morning. The programme was first floated earlier this year.

Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, said: "I am happy to share that starting today, eligible households will be able to apply online for their e-vouchers. I hope this $25 million Climate-Friendly Household Package will encourage households to take action to reduce their energy and water consumption.

"By doing so, they will also be saving money," he added.

When households switch from a one-tick to a three-tick refrigerator model, for instance, they could reap annual savings of about $50 over the 10-year lifespan of the appliance.

The National Environment Agency also estimates that if all the more than 300,000 eligible households make the switch, the collective reduction in carbon emissions is equivalent to taking 31,000 cars off the road, and the water savings amount to 400 million gallons of water annually.

The vouchers will expire on Dec 31, 2023. More information on how to apply for them can be found at this website.

During Saturday's event held at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East, Mr Heng also highlighted how environmental sustainability has been a focus for Singapore since its early years.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat (left) presenting the award for Best Constituency Commendation to Woodlands Division as part of the Clean and Green Singapore Awards 2020. PHOTO: NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

But the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of clean and green efforts in keeping public health threats under control.

"Keeping Singapore clean has taken on greater significance, as personal hygiene and public cleanliness are key lines of defence against the Covid-19 pandemic," he said, and urged people here to continue practising habits to keep shared spaces clean, such as returning trays at hawker centres and disposing of used tissues properly.

But Singapore is also "redoubling" its efforts to build a greener, more sustainable future, he said, citing plans to green buildings, turn trash into treasure by extracting value from every dreg of waste, and transform Singapore into a City in Nature - where there is more green infused into the grey cityscape.

"Our efforts to create a greener and more sustainable future will not only improve our living environment, it will help to grow our economy, generate more business and create good green jobs," Mr Heng said.

For instance, the shift towards more recycling, reusing, repairing, and re-manufacturing of products will create new economic possibilities, said Mr Heng.

Raising environmental sanitation and waste management standards, as well as upskilling workers, will allow people to access higher value-added jobs, he added.

Singapore has done well in its environmental sustainability journey over the past 30 years, he said. But there are still pressing challenges ahead, such as climate change and public health threats.

"By working in close partnership, we can achieve even more. This is the spirit of Singapore Together. Let us work towards building a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future for ourselves and our children in the years to come," he said.

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