betty July 11, 2022

SINGAPORE – Only a small fraction of around 300,000 households living in one- to three-room flats have used vouchers given to them by the Government to help them offset the cost of buying energy-efficient appliances – which can lower their electricity bills.

Since late 2020, each one- to three-room Housing Board flat household can redeem three e-vouchers worth $225 in total. They comprise a $150 voucher to buy energy-saving refrigerators, a $25 voucher for LED lights, and a $50 voucher for water-saving shower fittings.

This means that 300,000 flats can redeem 900,000 vouchers in total.

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 the National Environment Agency (NEA), which runs the scheme with national water agency PUB.

The e-vouchers under the Climate Friendly Households programme are valid till Dec 31 next year.

Eligible households can redeem the vouchers through the programme’s website.

Under NEA’s Minimum Energy Performance Standards, appliances are rated with up to five ticks which are shown on labels pasted on the products being sold. More ticks indicate a more energy-efficient appliance.

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

Energy-saving appliances tend to be more costly compared with ordinary ones.

While the programme aims to help homes reduce their carbon footprints, it also helps them reduce their utility bills amid rising electricity prices.

Households can save between $40 and $120 annually by switching to such appliances, said NEA on its website.

It was announced on June 30 that the electricity tariff here would be 30.17 cents per kilowatt-hour for the next three months – an 8.1 per cent hike from the last quarter.

For three-room flats, the tariff jump is expected to add an extra $6 to each household’s monthly bill, on average.

Electricity prices have been soaring globally since last year, due to factors including the unanticipated demand for gas from pandemic recovery, reductions in global gas supply, and the rippling effects of the Russia-Ukraine war.