New Building Energy Efficiency Finance Scheme for Singapore

A PILOT financing scheme has been launched by Singapore’s building authority enabling building owners to get loans of up to S$5 million ($4.3 million) to improve energy efficiency in existing buildings.

Minister of State for National Development,Brigadier-General, Tan Chuan Jin, announced the scheme today at the opening of the International Green Building Conference in Suntec City, Singapore. 

Jin explained that the "Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing Scheme" will start on a pilot basis from the October 1, adding that Singapore's existing buildings make up more than 95 per cent of the total building stock and Singapore can reduce its carbon footprint by making old buildings more energy efficient.

Jin told the conference that Singapore is “one of the first few countries in the world which mandates energy efficiency standards for existing buildings.”

He also explained that the upfront cost of meeting higher standards could seem high but the energy savings after energy efficiency upgrades will eventually pay for the cost, “Building owners can reduce their energy bills and do their part for the environment at the same time.”

The Singapore Government is also amending the building laws to legally require building owners who do perform energy efficiency upgrades to comply with a minimum certification.

The pilot scheme will see the Building Construction Authority (BCA) partner with the Standard Chartered Bank and the United Overseas Bank.

BG Tan said the scheme is to help some owners who may be reluctant to retrofit their buildings because of cost.

He said while the initial cost may be a barrier, owners will benefit from lower energy bills after retrofitting their buildings.

Tai Lee Siang, President of the Singapore Green Building Council, added the pilot scheme would be a a great help to SMEs particularly, with this funding reflecting a real commitment by policymakers to improve the energy efficiency of Singapore’s existing buildings.

President of the Singapore Green Building Council, Tai Lee Siang, said the scheme would be a boon to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) particularly, as these companies typically do not have big credit facilities to carry out costly retrofits.

The interest rate is set at a minimum rate of 3.5 per cent, with the loan term ranges from one-and-a-half years to seven years.

Head of Medium Enterprise, Standard Chartered Bank, Lam Kum Weng, said the Bank was delighted to be involved in this “landmark financing scheme” with BCA.

He said: “We are glad to be able to support the segment of customers and buildings to fund the cost of making buildings energy efficient. The reduction in electricity bills and costs savings will be substantial and we foresee this will be a major breakthrough for the industry.”

Picture of Singapore Skyline by Besar Bears reproduced under CCL.

Thursday 15th September 2011

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