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Reduce green building retrofitting cost with up to $3 million

Thursday, 26 July 2012

- - BCA enhanced its Green Mark Incentive Scheme to attract owners to green existing buildings

Singapore, 26 July 2012 - The prevailing Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings (GMIS-EB) that co-funds up to 35% (capped at $1.5 million), has been enhanced to co-fund up to 50% or $3 million for Green Mark Platinum building projects. Owners who plan to retrofit their buildings to Green Mark GoldPlus can receive up to $2.25 million co-funding and $1.5 million for building projects rated with Green Mark Gold.

Launched in April 2009, the $100 million GMIS-EB was conceived to encourage developers and or building owners to adopt energy efficient retrofitting design, technologies and practices in their existing building to achieve a significant improvement in the building energy efficiency. The GMIS-EB consists of two complementary parts, a cash incentive and 'health check' scheme, which is an energy audit that helps companies to determine the efficiency of their air-conditioning plants.

Under the prevailing cash incentive, BCA partly covers the costs of energy efficient equipment only. However, with the enhanced scheme, building owners can further reduce their retrofitting costs as BCA will also co-fund the cost of installing the energy efficient equipment and the professional services. These services are usually rendered by consultants such as the mechanical and electrical consultants, green consultants and energy services companies with respect to the energy efficient equipment and retrofitting works.

To help companies defray the cost incurred in conducting a 'health check', the GMIS-EB funds 50% of the cost while the remaining 50% will be borne by the building owner. The criteria and scope of the 'health check' scheme remains unchanged.

In order to encourage building owners to retrofit to higher energy efficiency standards, building owners must meet the Green Mark Gold and above rating, as well as achieve the specified air-conditioning plant system efficiency. Buildings that are certified to the minimum Green Mark standard level will no longer be eligible for the funding.

The Green Mark rating for Existing Non-Residential Buildings is based on an updated standard (Version 3), which places greater emphasis on the building system energy efficiency. For example, to encourage the use of more efficient air-conditioning equipment and to minimise energy consumption, the requirement for chiller plant efficiency has been made more stringent. Nevertheless, owners who prefer to have their buildings to be assessed under Version 2.1 can submit their applications by 30 Sep 2012.

"Over the years, we have seen a rise in enquiries on green building retrofitting. Some of these owners are able to see the payback benefits clearly, and so they readily embark on the retrofitting, while some owners need a little more convincing. The enhancement to the incentive scheme would attract more owners to reconsider a 'green' upgrade to their buildings," commented Mr Vincent Low, Business Development Director, G-Energy Global Pte Ltd.

Since 2009, BCA has received 71 applications, of which 39 companies have applied for the cash incentive, and 32 have applied for the 'health check' scheme. An estimated $11 million has been committed through the scheme.

"We have been talking to the building owners and the energy consultants to find out how else we could help them retrofit their buildings to be green. We recognise the concerns of building owners such as disruption to their business and potential inconvenience to their tenants and clients, but the paybacks are tangible benefits for building owners. Our national target to green 80% of our buildings by 2030 remains unchanged, so we are calling out to existing building owners to tap on the GMIS-EB fund," says Dr John Keung, Chief Executive Officer, Building and Construction Authority.

Currently, about 16% of the total gross floor area in Singapore have achieved the BCA Green Mark standard, which translates to a gross floor area of 37 million square metres.

Footnote

Factsheet - S$100 million Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings (GMIS-EB) (56KB .pdf)

Speech - Welcome address by BCA CEO Dr. John Keung at the World Workplace Asia Conference & Exhibition 2012 at Raffles City Convention Centre

Portable document format version of the media release is also available (110KB .pdf).

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