Government Sets Aside $17 million to Boost Energy Efficiency in SMEs [Press Release]
1. To help SMEs improve their energy efficiency, the government has set aside some $17 million in an initiative for SMEs to assess, monitor and improve their energy performance. This initiative was developed by SPRING Singapore. As the industry association for sustainable energy, the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) will lead this initiative, with support from SPRING, National Environment Agency (NEA) and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). The goal is to help some 300 SMEs achieve at least 10 per cent savings in energy costs over the next three years.
2. At the opening of the Standards eXchange on Resource Efficiency, Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry, noted that energy costs were on average 13 per cent of operating costs across manufacturing SMEs. He urged SMEs to undertake energy efficiency projects to optimise the use of key resources like energy, which will ultimately impact business competitiveness and continued growth. This is also in line with Singapore’s drive towards sustainable development.
3. The $17 million SME Energy Efficiency Initiative set aside for energy efficiency, which covers Energy Audit, Energy Monitoring System, Energy Efficiency Project Implementation and Energy Efficiency Thought Leadership, was launched by Minister Iswaran at the event.
4. SMEs may use SPRING’s Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV) to engage one of 11 prequalified Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) to conduct an audit of their current energy usage and identify areas to improve their energy efficiency. For energy monitoring, funding is also available to install systems for long-term continuous self-monitoring of energy consumption. In addition, further funding from SPRING is available for SMEs to embark on larger energy efficiency projects that involve optimising processes, redesigning workflows, or installing of energy-efficient equipment or technologies. Finally, the initiative also supports energy efficiency thought leadership, with the development of a pilot training programme with McKinsey Capability Center: Green Campus, to drive the sustainability of energy efficiency initiatives in the organisation.
5. The initiative taps on existing funding schemes administered by SPRING and IDA, thereby simplifying the application process and encouraging easier adoption of the initiative. It aims to help some 300 SMEs achieve at least 10 per cent savings in energy costs over the next three years.
6. At the event, which was attended by some 300 business leaders, Minister Iswaran also announced that the ISO will be setting up a regional office in Singapore in September this year, for an initial two-year pilot. This will be the first regional office for ISO outside Geneva, where it is headquartered. By anchoring itself in Singapore, the ISO will be able to strengthen support for its members and increase its outreach to industry players, governmental officials and other key stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region.
7. Explaining the ISO’s choice of Singapore, Mr Rob Steele, Secretary-General of the ISO, said, “Singapore’s excellent infrastructure and connectivity to the rest of the region, its economic and political stability, as well as its ready pool of talents, were strong pull factors. The presence of multinational corporations, other international organisations and relevant regional organisations also contributed to the ISO’s decision.”
8. Minister Iswaran also announced that SPRING Singapore has also been appointed as the secretariat for the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC) from 2014 to 2016. Both developments will strengthen not just the local quality and standards infrastructure, but also Singapore’s position and influence as the Asian hub for standards and conformance. Standards are enablers of international commerce, impacting upon 80% of world commodity trade. As the Asia-Pacific region plays an increasingly pivotal role in the global economy, our enterprises can capitalise on a stronger quality and standards infrastructure to upgrade and grow.
Factsheet on SME Energy Efficiency Initiative
Energy cost forms a significant portion of SMEs’ operating costs. Energy accounts for about 13 per cent of the total operating costs for manufacturing SMEs. This cost has been increasing, being driven upward by rising fuel prices. Improving energy efficiency will help SMEs address rising energy costs and lower overall business operating costs.
The SME Energy Efficiency Initiative was conceptualised to help SMEs assess, monitor and improve energy efficiency. It comprises four key areas of support and allows SMEs to tap on existing funding schemes administered by SPRING and IDA. This simplifies the application process for SMEs and encourages them to take action. A total of $17 million has been set aside to help some 300 SMEs achieve at least 10 per cent savings in energy costs over the next three years.
This initiative was developed by SPRING Singapore. As the industry association for sustainable energy, the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) will lead this initiative, with support from SPRING, National Environment Agency and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.
Who can apply?
All local SMEs can apply for the SME Energy Efficiency Initiative if they meet the following criteria :
- Registered and operating in Singapore
- Have minimum 30% local shareholding, and
- Have group annual sales turnover of not more than $100 million or group employment size of not more than 200 employees
How SMEs can benefit?
SMEs can tap on the following four areas of support to improve energy efficiency:
For application details, please visit the following information sites :
For more information, please contact EnterpriseOne at (65) 6898 1800 or email at email@example.com.