Singapore: More Green Technologies for Public Housing Projects

 

SINGAPORE: The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is exploring more green technologies for public housing projects across Singapore, it said Monday (June 2).

Last year, 10 households in Punggol were involved in a first-of-its-kind year-long test-bed, conducted by HDB and Panasonic, to improve household energy efficiency. Participants involved saw an average 20 per cent reduction in their monthly energy usage.

The Tans were among the 10 households living in Punggol Eco-Town (Block 109C Edgedale Plains), invited to install a Home Energy Management System.

The system allowed them to track their energy usage through their smartphone. Participants say that by doing so, it has made them more careful with how they use electricity at home.

Every week, residents were also provided energy usage reports and energy saving tips.

The couple even changed their refrigerator and air conditioner to a more energy-efficient one.

“Based on other households, our particular consumption was a little bit on the high side.” said Mr Tan Yew Teck. “We actually looked at every appliance, right down to ovens, kettles, and even ironing. We decided most of the energy consumption came from the fridge, followed by the air-conditioners. And because of the app, we were able to narrow down to these two items.”

“It saves us about 10 to 20 per cent (in bills),” said his wife, Mrs Lim Bee Hong. “Previously, our electricity bill could hit up to S$180, but after we switched (our air-conditioner) it was like, S$110 to S$150.”

The system also allows households to control their air-conditioner from their phone, which helped the couple keep a watchful eye on their children, even while at work.

“Occasionally, when their friends come, or when they feel like it, they would actually switch on the air-con,” said Mr Tan. “But it may not be warranted, because some days are not particularly hot, especially since we live actually on the top floor and we have a cool sea breeze in Punggol.”

In such cases, Mrs Lim would turn off the air-conditioner remotely with the app.

HDB said most of the savings came from households switching to more energy efficient air-conditioners, which usually makes up about 30 per cent of electricity consumption in a typical household.

Another objective of the test-bed was to achieve zero-emissions for common facilities. To do this, HDB installed close to 190 solar panels on the roof to power everything from the lifts, the water pumps, to the lights at the common corridors.

“(The solar panels) can achieve about 90 per cent of the energy (used) from the common services,” said Mr Tan Chek Sim, Deputy Director of Technology Research at the HDB Building Research Institute. “In the long run, we will definitely be exploring extending this to more households across Singapore.”

Source: Channel NewsAsia

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