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Singapore introduces measures to cut HFC emission; S$24.8m climate-friendly package for households

SINGAPORE is moving to reduce the emission of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), commonly used in refrigerants, in a push to mitigate climate change, Minister for Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said in Parliament.

"From 2022, we intend to restrict the supply of commercial watercooled chillers and household refrigerators and air conditioners that use HFCs with high global warming potential," Mr Masagos said during his ministry's Committee of Supply debate on Wednesday.

To that end is a package of measures to reduce the emission of HFCs, which Mr Masagos said could trap a much larger amount of heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, if they leak during the installation of refrigerators and air conditioners.

This includes a new climate-friendly label to help households identify refrigerators and air conditioners that use alternative refrigerants with lower global warming potential, he said.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) will launch a new grant to support companies that want to make an early switch to more climate-friendly commercial water-cooled chillers.

Later this year, NEA will launch a training course to train and certify technicians to handle refrigerants properly. From next year, NEA will mandate the proper recovery, reclamation and destruction of spent refrigerants.

Meanwhile, Mr Masagos said a S$24.8 million climate-friendly household package will help households make the switch to energy and water-efficient appliances.

This includes a S$150 voucher for one, two and three-room Housing Board households to make the cost of an energy-efficient and climate-friendly refrigerator more affordable to them. They will also get a S$50 voucher for the purchase of water-efficient shower fittings.

The "Switch and Save – Use LED" programme, first launched in 2018 to all one-room to two-room HDB households, will be expanded to all three-room households. Under this programme, each household will receive a S$25 voucher to purchase LED lights.