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Incentives available to help green buildings (TODAY Commentary)

Thursday, 22 November 2018

We thank Ms Christine Li for her commentary "What can be done to make Singapore buildings more green?" (9 November).

BCA engages the industry periodically to review and enhance the green buildings schemes. We will certainly take Ms Li's suggestions into consideration when we next review our schemes.

We agree with Ms Li that there is indeed a strong business case for green buildings. Based on actual project data, the payback period for the additional investment to green a building is less than 6 years, with many projects achieving payback within the 2-4 year range.

Developers, building owners, facility management teams, and even tenants can tap a slew of schemes and incentives to improve building energy efficiency, and green their buildings.

For new developments, developers and their project team can tap the Green Mark (GM) Bonus Gross Floor Area incentive scheme to obtain additional GFA if they are able to attain higher GM GoldPLUSor Platinum standards

For existing buildings, BCA can co-fund up to 50% of the cost of auditing the performance of chilled water central air conditioning systems, which is one of the biggest sources of energy consumption. Owners and their tenants can also consider tapping the GM Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings and Premises (GMIS-EBP) which co-funds up to 50% of the cost of energy efficient equipment.

In addition, the Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) Scheme facilitates financing for the purchase and installation of energy efficient equipment or renewable energy systems. It is available for owners of commercial buildings and energy service companies to implement energy efficiency retrofits under an Energy Performance Contract arrangement.

In the next lap of Singapore's green building movement, BCA is working together with industry professionals towards realising cost-effective Super Low Energy (SLE) buildings in the tropics. A key strategy is to grow the potential for deployment of renewable energy generation technologies to power our buildings. In this regard, solar photovoltaic technology is a promising area. The business case for rooftop solar installations is growing stronger, as the cost of solar panels continues to fall. For example, the data published by the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) shows that the cost of electricity generated by a typical solar-roof system can be up to 30% lower than the prevailing electricity tariff. We encourage building owners and project teams to consider incorporating solar panels into their building design plan.

We hope that developers, building owners and advocates like Ms Li will continue to support us in this next lap of Singapore's green building journey.

More information on the Green Mark incentive schemes and the National Solar Repository is available at https://www1.bca.gov.sg/buildsg/sustainability and http://www.solar-repository.sg.

Ang Kian Seng
Group Director, Environmental Sustainability
Building and Construction Authority

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