From the new Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment formed this year and pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, to the launch of the 30th annual Clean And Green Singapore 2020, Singapore has been ramping up its efforts in fighting climate change.
Earlier in March this year, the government also announced a $24.8 million Climate-Friendly Households Programme, which will be rolled out on 28 November as part of the launch of the National Environment Agency’s Clean and Green Singapore campaign this year.
So what does this mean for us? More freebies from the Singapore government in the form of e-vouchers!
What is the Climate-Friendly Households Programme?
- 3 types of e-vouchers worth $225
- $150 to buy an energy-efficient refrigerator
- $50 to buy water-efficient shower fittings
- $25 to buy LED lights
More than 300,000 households living in one-, two- and three-room HDB households would have received a letter in November informing them they’re eligible for one-off e-vouchers to buy energy-efficient appliances.
The Climate-Friendly Households (CFH) Programme aims to encourage households to be more energy and water-efficient. In the long run, this helps us save on our utilities based on lower consumption of electricity and water.
Eligible households can redeem three types of e-vouchers totalling $225 to subsidise the purchase of energy and water-efficient household appliances.
They consist of:
- $150 to purchase an energy-efficient refrigerator
- $50 to purchase water-efficient shower fittings
- $25 to purchase LED lights
According to NEA, refrigerators make up 17% of total electricity consumption in most households. Unfortunately, less than 7% of households are using energy-efficient refrigerators.
If all households eligible for the programme switched to a more energy-efficient one, the total electricity cost savings would be about $160 million more than the typical lifespan of the refrigerator. Carbon emissions would also be reduced by about 357 million kg, equivalent to the annual carbon emissions from 110,000 cars.
When it comes to showering, it accounts for about 30% of total household water consumption, especially if you have more people under one roof. If you’ve been yelled at by your parents when you were younger to not take long showers, now you know why.
Buying three-tick water-efficient fittings will help reduce usage and the collective savings would be 1.1 million gallons of water if all households switched one shower fitting to a more efficient one.
LED lights are another option to reduce your electricity consumption. Compared to incandescent lights, LED lights are 80% more energy-efficient, and 40% more energy-efficient than compact fluorescent lights.
However, 64% of households in one-, two- and three-room flats are not using LED lights. If they all made the switch, the potential savings in annual energy costs would amount up to $3.7 million.
According to the CFH Programme, this means cost savings of $40 to $120 annually on your utilities for individual households.
How to redeem the Climate-Friendly Households Programme vouchers
- Redeem e-vouchers on the Climate-Friendly Households Programme site
- Sign in with your SingPass
- Present them at participating retailers
Eligible households can apply to redeem the e-vouchers at the official Climate-Friendly Households Programme site.
Sign in with your SingPass and complete the form. You’ll receive three SMSes from RedeemSG with links to download the different vouchers.
Once you’ve downloaded them, you can present them at any of the eight participating retailers such as Best Denki, Courts, Gain City, Harvey Norman, Mega Discount Store, Bathroom Warehouse, NTUC FairPrice and Sheng Siong by 31 Dec 2023 when you shop. More merchants are expected to participate in the programme, according to NEA.
Benefits of using energy and water-efficient appliances
To tell if an item is energy-efficient, you have to look for NEA’s Energy Label on the product which shows how energy-efficient it is.
More ticks means more energy savings, with the maximum number being five ticks. The more efficient the model, the lower your electricity cost. To calculate your annual electricity cost, simply multiply annual energy consumption (kWh) and the prevailing electricity tariff ($/kWh).
Here’s a simple example to show the long-term cost savings:
Say you are comparing two refrigerator models, A and B. Refrigerator A is cheaper at $750 but consumes more energy. Should you pay slightly more ($800) for Refrigerator B to save on energy costs?
Disclaimer: Calculations are meant as a guide only. Figures are hypothetical and based on estimate costs.
As you can see, the long-term costs of using a less energy-efficient refrigerator can really add up! Hence, it does make financial sense to pay more for an eco-friendly appliance, especially if the difference in cost is slight, such as in the above example.
Refrigerators – $150 e- voucher
If your fridge is still pretty new, you have up till three years to change it. Refrigerators should be at least 3-ticks and above to be considered energy-efficient. Three ticks means the appliance has a Good rating for energy efficiency, four ticks means Very Good and five ticks, Excellent.
NEA has also introduced a climate-friendly label so that people can also identify which refrigerators and air-conditioners use alternative refrigerants that have lower global warming potential (GWP).
LED lights – $25 e-voucher
The easiest step would be to change the lightbulbs at home to LED lights. There’s no reason not to do so because LED lights last longer, consume less electricity, are brighter and more intense than traditional lights.
You can spend the voucher on registered LED self-ballasted lamps and registered direct LED replacements for CFL or LFL lights.
Shower fittings – $50 e-voucher
It’s the same with PUB’s Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) label for shower taps and mixers. More ticks means more water efficient, up to three ticks.
A 3-tick shower tap or mixer consumes up to 5L/minute and can save 38% of water savings, while a 2-tick consumes 5L to 7L/minute and can save only 25%.
Shower fittings come under the Voluntary Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme, which shows up to a maximum of three ticks. A 3 tick showerhead which consumes up to 5L/minute can generate up to 43% of water savings while a 2-tick showerhead, only 29%.
Read more here.
What can you spend the Climate-Friendly Households Programme vouchers on?
The vouchers are pretty specific that you can only spend on these three types of items. To make sure you’re getting the right energy or water-efficient product, you can check out PUB’s WELS rated products.
The site shows a whole range of water-efficient 3-tick products (shower mixers, taps, cisterns, washing machines, etc) from different brands and their models. Most importantly, it shows the water consumption in litres per minute for each item and you can filter the results.
Similarly, you can also search for energy-efficient appliances (refrigerators, LED lamps, TVs, air-conditioners, etc) on NEA’s database of registered goods, which allows you to filter by product, brand, type, green ticks, and even whether the refrigerator has a climate-friendly refrigerant.
The search results will show you the estimated annual energy consumption in kWh and annual energy costs based on the electricity tariff, which you can key into your search.
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This article was written by Audrey A.. She can’t wait to move into her own place so she can finally get a cat (or two) and an espresso machine to fuel her love for flat whites. For now, she’s saving up and dreaming of her next trip.