Excerpts from the Speech by Ms Grace Fu, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, at the Eco-products International Fair 2013 [Speeches]
Read the full speech by Ms Grace Fu here.
On Energy and Water Labelling:
A clear benefit to consumers and businesses is the cost-savings from energy and water consumption over time. To help households make informed choices, I am glad to announce that the Singapore Government will be extending water and energy efficiency labelling to more appliances and explore more mandatory efficiency standards for them.
Our current Mandatory Energy Labelling Scheme (MELS) and Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) have been effective in expanding the range of higher efficiency appliances in the market. And with more coming in to the market, we hope to bring prices down and make them more affordable to households.
Households who have switched to these appliances are enjoying savings in their electricity bills. Under MELS for household appliances, suppliers are required to provide information on the energy requirements of their products which allows consumers to compare the energy efficiency performance and life-cycle costs of different models. This is to allow them to make better informed purchasing decisions. MEPS on the other hand, helps in removing the most inefficient models from our market, by prohibiting the sale of all appliance models that do not meet the minimum specified energy efficiency levels.
To further aid our consumers, MELS will be expanded to include televisions from 2014, while the National Environment Agency will also tighten MEPS standards for air conditioners and refrigerators in September 2013, and introduce standards for clothes dryers and general lighting in 2014.
For water efficiency, the Mandatory Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (MWELS) was introduced in 2009 for products such as taps, flushing cisterns and urinals to help consumers chose water-efficient products. Washing machines was included in the MWELS in 2011, and PUB will also set a minimum water efficiency standard of one tick for washing machines from April 2014.
On Waste Recycling:
Besides the adoption of green innovations and resource-efficient technologies, households can also help push the sustainability agenda through recycling. Currently, our household recycling remains poor, but our recent nationwide study on household recycling behaviour shows that most households actually want to recycle but do not do so for a variety of reasons.
Beyond making it more convenient for households to recycle by enhancing the recycling infrastructure, for example more bins and more collections, my Ministry plans to encourage behavioural change among individuals by providing incentives. Many countries including the United States and Japan charge households according to the weight of waste disposed. To encourage households here to reduce their waste and recycle more, we are currently exploring the feasibility of moving towards a usage-based pricing waste disposal system that will allow households to directly reap the benefits of reducing waste. We will be conducting a few “Save-As-You-Reduce” pilot projects in the Punggol and Bartley areas, involving a small number of HDB blocks, condominiums and landed properties, as well as at the first HDB Greenprint precinct at Yuhua. During these pilots, residents will be regularly informed on how much they have recycled and thrown away.