JTC signs MOU to help its industrial estates go green

Chloe Wang Channel NewsAsia 3 Jun 14;

SINGAPORE: JTC Corporation is joining hands with the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) to work on energy efficiency solutions for buildings in JTC's business parks and industrial estates. The two partners signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Tuesday (June 3).

They plan to co-develop energy efficient solutions, such as harnessing solar energy, converting manufacturing waste to energy and improved lighting technologies. The MOU will also cover energy management and control systems to monitor energy for better use. For a start, these projects will involve the JTC Woodlands' industrial estate. Potential projects include installation of solar PV panels and energy efficient lighting.

Successful technologies could be implemented on a large scale throughout JTC estates, and this is expected to lead to potential cost savings for its tenants.

Said the CEO of JTC Corporation, Mr Png Cheong Boon: "This partnership with SEAS will provide opportunities for Singapore companies, especially SMEs and startups, to demonstrate their innovations and establish track records, thereby giving them a leg up in the commercialisation of their new innovations in the global market."

- CNA/ly

HDB, EMA explore home energy management scheme
Channel NewsAsia 3 Jun 14;

SINGAPORE: The Housing and Development Board (HDB) and Energy Market Authority (EMA) on Tuesday (June 3) inked a deal with Japanese technology company Panasonic to explore the feasibility of a smart home energy pilot.

In a joint statement, HDB and EMA said a memorandum of understanding was signed with Panasonic on Tuesday during the World Cities Summit to conduct a year-long study to explore a suite of different energy choices and solutions for HDB households using Panasonic's technology.

The pilot study will look at the possibility of implementing time-of-use electricity rate packages and integrating features such as a home energy management system and energy aggregation models, according to the statement.

For instance, a time-of-use rate package with lower charges during certain hours, can "incentivise residents to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak periods, and achieve savings in their electricity bills".

The home energy management system would provide energy usage data to residents, and this information could be delivered via a mobile application for real-time monitoring, they added.

Findings from the study will allow the three parties to assess the feasibility of implementing the smart home energy pilot at the 38 HDB blocks in Yuhua estate, designated by HDB as the Greenprint neighbourhood in Jurong East.

Greenprint is a comprehensive and integrated framework of goals and strategies to guide greener HDB town development and create sustainable homes, according to HDB's website.

On the same day, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of National Development, highlighted Singapore's efforts in capitalising on the opportunities on offer in the clean technologies sector. He was speaking at the UK-Singapore Green Growth and Business Forum.

He noted that the country is already experimenting with green technologies in HDB estates such as Punggol Eco-town, where intelligent energy and water management solutions have been deployed to engage residents and reduce consumption. Residents are also encouraged to take up eco-friendly mobility options such as electric bicycles, he added.

Ideas to retrofit mature estates to make them greener are also being explored, with solar panels and sensor-controlled LED lightings among some of the initiatives, Mr Lee said.

- CNA/kk

Possible off-peak electricity pricing among initiatives to be studied
SIAU MING EN Today Online 4 Jun 14;

SINGAPORE — Determining which are the off-peak periods for electricity consumption in households in order to offer lower pricing during these timings and finding the most cost-effective energy management solutions for public housing are some of the goals of a year-long feasibility study.

The study by the Housing and Development Board (HDB), the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Panasonic will be used to determine whether a pilot energy scheme — which hopes to encourage residents to reduce and shift their energy usage — can be implemented across about 3,000 households in Yuhua.

The area in Jurong East is currently under the HDB’s Greenprint programme, which aims to encourage sustainable and eco-friendly living in public housing estates.

The HDB and EMA yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Panasonic at the World Cities Summit. Group director of HDB Building Research Institute, Dr Johnny Wong, told reporters: “What we are hoping is to, in a little way, nudge the residents to be more aware of their energy usage and, in turn, help them save energy and save (on) their energy bills.”

Last year, the HDB and Panasonic conducted a year-long Total Energy Solutions pilot involving 10 households in Punggol aimed at reducing energy consumption levels of households and achieving zero emissions for common facilities such as water pumps and lighting.

Dr Wong noted that results were encouraging, with monthly average energy consumption levels at these households falling by about 20 per cent. “That is the reason we are moving a step forward, to try out this test-bed now,” he said.

Among the initiatives being assessed in the study are time-of-use pricing schemes, a home energy management system and energy aggregation models. For instance, residents could be offered lower rates during off-peak hours under the time-of-use pricing scheme, providing incentives for them to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak periods and save more on electricity bills.

The feasibility study will determine the peak and off-peak periods of electricity usage among households. Energy aggregation models will offer residents alternative sources of electricity, with the option to use a combination of solar and grid electricity in their homes.

A Home Energy Management System (HEMS), which provides energy-usage data, will also be explored. Such a system allows residents to view and monitor their household energy usage with a mobile app and adjust their energy usage accordingly.

While HEMS had been tested by households in the Punggol pilot, Dr Wong said it was too early to determine the cost of adopting such a system. “Our wish, of course, is that the cost is low, but you have to balance it out with the savings you’re going to get with energy savings ... Once you get more energy savings, it balances off your initial capital costs,” he said.

Record number of buildings receive eco certification
Alice Chia Channel NewsAsia 2 Jun 14;

SINGAPORE: A record number of buildings received certification for incorporating environmentally friendly features in 2014.

With this, the Government says it is on track to "green" a majority of the buildings by 2030 -- in a country where the all-year round high temperatures mean that air-conditioning is widespread.

But air-conditioning systems often use up large amounts of energy, and contribute to environmental degradation.

Over at the Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay, which is over 30 years old, the management is doing their part to care for the planet.

"Two years ago, the hotel decided to replace its chillers, which are part of the air-conditioning system, with newer ones," said its General Manager, Kevin Bossino. "It's a new model and is more energy-efficient.

"On top of that, it does not release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."

The revamp, which included other green initiatives, cost millions -- and has cut the building's energy use by 25 per cent.

While new buildings can comply with green standards the moment they begin construction, older ones must work around current operations and infrastructure.

International Plaza, which is over 40 years old, had to tear down part of a wall (on the 36th floor) to allow more energy-efficient chillers to be hoisted and installed.

"LTA (Land Transport Authority) gave approval to close the Choon Guan Street area, and all the work had to be done overnight into the early hours of the morning," said S Kunalen, Chairman, International Plaza.

And combined with other green initiatives, the overhaul has resulted in savings of $470,000 per year on electricity bills.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has a target of greening 80 per cent of the buildings in Singapore by 2030.

And it is on track; so far some 2,000 new and existing projects already have the Green Mark certification -- making up more than 24 per cent of all buildings here.

To help the remaining buildings, the authority will step in with funding.

"For the smaller buildings, they may have problems raising funds to even pay for the initial capital costs," Dr John Keung, CEO of BCA. "So we have a scheme, where we are tying up with some financial institutions, banks and so on, to help defray part of the costs."

Besides incentives, there are also rules to ensure existing buildings meet the minimum green mark standards.

- CNA/rw