Energy-saving appliances voucher scheme could include bicycles: Baey Yam Keng

Bicycles could be added to the list covered by the Climate-Friendly Households Programme. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A voucher scheme meant to offset the cost of energy-efficient appliances for households living in one- to three-room flats could see new additions, said Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, on Wednesday.

Bicycles could be added to the list covered by the Climate Friendly Households Programme, which is currently being reviewed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and national water agency PUB, Mr Baey told Parliament.

He was responding to questions from Workers' Party MPs Leon Perera (Aljunied GRC) and Jamus Lim (Sengkang GRC), who had asked whether the ministry would cover more aspects of residents' carbon footprint, such as through offering vouchers for bicycles.

"Ultimately, we are looking at electrical appliances," Mr Baey said, acknowledging that bicycles are mobility devices that do not generate emissions and that the ministry will look into their potential addition to the programme.

"We will announce further details when ready," said Mr Baey, who is also Senior Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Transport.

The current phase of the programme, which is designed to help low-income HDB households switch to more energy-efficient appliances while saving costs, will end on Dec 31, 2023, he added.

Since late 2020, selected households can redeem three e-vouchers under the programme, including a $150 voucher for energy-saving refrigerators and a $25 voucher for LED lights.

However, only a fraction of about 900,000 vouchers had been redeemed as at May 2022, The Straits Times reported in July.

As at May this year, about 23,000 e-vouchers have been redeemed, of which 11,700 were for refrigerators, 7,600 for LED lights, and 3,700 for shower fittings, said NEA, which runs the scheme with PUB.

Addressing Mr Perera's question on whether the ministry has studied why the take-up rate has been so low, Mr Baey said NEA and PUB have been working with community partners to conduct outreach activities to residents, and displaying posters about the programme at community clubs and digital display panels at some HDB blocks.

Under NEA's Minimum Energy Performance Standards, appliances are rated with up to five ticks, which are shown on labels pasted on products being sold.

More ticks indicate more energy-efficient appliances, which tend to be more expensive.

An appliance with at least three ticks is deemed energy-efficient and can be bought using the vouchers under the scheme.

Responding to Mr Perera's question on whether the ministry will consider increasing the sum allocated to energy-efficient refrigerators, Mr Baey said NEA's earlier market survey on refrigerators showed that $150 was sufficient to defray the average incremental cost of energy-efficient models.

Eligible households can redeem the vouchers through the programme's website (

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