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A platform to boost energy efficiency
IMPROVING energy efficiency among households and businesses is one of the ways that Singapore is working towards reducing its greenhouse gas emissions as the fight to halt climate change reaches a critical stage. In his inaugural address to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that beyond the existential threat of global warming and rising sea levels, low-lying island states like Singapore will also face other effects of climate change, such as new diseases, more extreme weather events, food shortages, forced migration or war.
While Singapore contributes only 0.11 per cent of global emissions and is hampered in its ability to rely on alternative and renewable sources of energy, the government is committed to do its share to reduce emissions under the Paris Agreement, Mr Lee said. For instance, Singapore is the first country in South-east Asia to impose a carbon tax, which is applied economy-wide with no exemptions.
Singapore has adopted a whole-of-government approach when it comes to improving energy efficiency and to reduce the energy use of various sectors. One key aspect of this strategy for the industrial sector is an initiative known as the Energy Efficiency National Partnership (EENP) programme, a voluntary partnership for companies seeking to be more efficient with their energy use. Partners benefit by gaining access to a learning network, resources, incentives and recognition. The programme was launched in 2010 by the National Environment Agency (NEA), Energy Market Authority (EMA) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) and has so far attracted 292 members.
Beyond combating climate change and other environmental benefits, it also makes good business sense for organisations to pursue energy efficiency. By cutting energy use, companies can reduce their operating costs, improve performance and boost productivity.
Public sector organisations are also taking advantage of the programme. For instance, the Home Team Academy (HTA), a department of the Ministry of Home Affairs, joined the EENP programme as it believed it would provide a good framework to help ensure that it had "a structured process for energy management, capacity building in energy efficiency and the engagement of stakeholders". HTA was one of the winners at this year's EENP Awards in the Best Practices in Public Sector category.
The EENP programme comprises three main components. The first involves encouraging the partners to adopt an Energy Management System that can help them better manage and measure energy consumption, as well as help to identify ways to cut energy use. The second component is a learning network that provides opportunities for the industry to learn about energy efficiency ideas, technologies, practices, standards and case studies.
These include platforms for top management, conferences and technical workshops targeted at senior and middle management teams and technical staff, and learning journeys. Technical workshops on industrial systems are also organised to train engineers and practitioners in energy efficiency.
The third aspect relates to recognition through the EENP Awards, an initiative that rewards the efforts and achievements of companies and corporate teams in excellent energy management practices and in improving energy efficiency. (see sidebar)
ENHANCING ENERGY MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
One key platform of the EENP learning network is an annual National Energy Efficiency Conference, which aims to provide thought leadership in energy efficiency, bringing together experts and industry professionals to share best practices and case studies of successful projects.
Held on Oct 3 and Oct 4 2019 at the Max Atria @ Singapore EXPO, this year's NEEC is themed "Enhancing Energy Management for Sustainable Growth," and will focus on the integration of a structured energy management system into companies' business strategy. Sessions will cover topics such as best energy efficiency practices for industrial companies, and the digitalisation of energy management. This is the sixth NEEC organised by the NEA, EDB and EMA.
NEA will be signing a memorandum of understanding with Singapore Institute of Technology on the first day of the NEEC. The tie-up will see the two parties collaborate to promote and develop energy efficiency capabilities and expertise for industrial sectors; as well as support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in improving business competitiveness and reducing energy costs.