Up to S$3m funding to improve energy efficiency of buildings

Developers and building owners can expect more funding from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.

Under the enhanced Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings, BCA will co-fund up to 50 per cent or S$3 million of the cost of building projects.

This includes the purchase of energy-efficient equipment, such as chillers and LED lightings, the installation of the equipment and consultancy fees.

Previously, the scheme co-funded up to 35 per cent or S$1.5 million of the cost of energy-efficient equipment only.

To be eligible for the funding, one criteria applicants must meet is the Green Mark standard, a yardstick to rate the environmental sustainability of buildings in the tropics.

Owners who plan to retrofit their buildings to Green Mark Platinum standard can receive the maximum amount of funding.

Buildings rated with Green Mark GoldPlus can receive up to S$2.25 million co-funding, up from the previous S$0.5 million and those rated with Green Mark Gold can receive up to S$1.5 million, up from the previous S$0.15 million.

The S$100 million scheme was launched in 2009.

Since then, BCA has received 71 applications for an estimated S$11 million.

BCA said it considered industry feedback in raising the maximum co-funding level.

Dr John Keung, chief executive officer of BCA, said: “They were quite concerned about this initial costs. It could be anything from 5 to 10 per cent (higher) and the payback period is four years, six years, that kind of length. They believe that if funding level can be increased a bit more, it would be easier, make it more viable for them to go for the higher green building standard.”

Industry members say the increased funding will help them implement more energy-efficient features, which will result in lower electricity bills.

S Kunalen, chairman of International Plaza Management Council, said: “We can save about S$400,000 a year, which will then go towards our sinking fund, which will allow for other improvements in the building.”

To date, there are more than 1,200 green building projects, equivalent to 16 per cent of gross floor area of the buildings in Singapore.

Under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, unveiled in 2009, the target is to “green” 80 per cent of buildings by 2030.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 26 Jul 2012

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