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SPEECH BY MR MASAGOS ZULKIFLI, MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER RESOURCES; AT THE NATIONAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY CONFERENCE AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP AWARDS CEREMONY ON 5 OCT 2017

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

1.      Good morning. I am happy to open the National Energy Efficiency Conference (NEEC) and present the Energy Efficiency National Partnership (EENP) Awards 2017.  I am pleased to note that this is the 5th run of the Conference, and the turnout has been growing.  The number of EENP programme partners has also reached a record 260, up from 90 when it first started.  All these are positive signs that industry awareness and participation in energy efficiency issues is growing.  

2.     Today, we also recognise individuals and companies that have made great strides in their energy efficiency (EE) journey.  NEA has introduced a new award for Outstanding Energy Services Provider of the Year.  This award recognises the contributions of an often overlooked group of enablers and solution providers, whose work has helped many companies advance their EE initiatives tremendously.  

Building an Energy Efficiency Eco-System

3.     Singapore’s efforts to enhance EE are closely linked with our Paris Agreement pledge to reduce our Emissions Intensity by 36% from 2005 levels by 2030, and stabilise our greenhouse gas emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030.  To achieve this, the industry sector has to improve its EE by 1-2% annually.  This is only possible if we grow our economy in an energy- and carbon-efficient way.  EE is also known as the “fifth fuel” – it takes almost nothing to produce, but has huge potential benefits.  The theme of this year’s conference - Building an Energy Efficiency Eco-System - highlights the role that different stakeholders can play to create an enabling environment for EE.  I would like to make three observations on how we can promote a robust EE eco-system.

Adopting an Opportunity Mindset

4.     First, we need to adopt an opportunity mindset.  EE actions can be simple – such as switching to more energy efficient air-conditioning and lighting.  It can also involve complex projects such as re-designing manufacturing processes and utilising the latest smart technologies. There are many opportunities for companies both big and small, if we look for them.  One of this year’s award winners, Ardentec Singapore, is an SME that has adopted an opportunity mindset for EE.  Between 2012 and 2016, Ardentec put in place an energy management system, conducted an energy audit of its facilities and implemented several initiatives, such as retrofitting its chilled water plant and lighting systems.  As a result, the company was able to save 349 MWh in energy and $70,000 in annual costs.  Ardentec has even set a commendable target of 3% year-on-year improvement for EE.  

Top Management Support is Critical

5.     Second, EE efforts require the support of top management.  A strong feedback that my Ministry received at a recent focus group discussion was that top management support for EE efforts could be further strengthened.  I strongly encourage companies’ senior management to value EE as a business opportunity, and support and empower all levels of your organisations to continually seek EE improvements.  An effective way to involve top executives in EE programmes is to implement an energy management system.  A study by the Danish Energy Agency showed that companies could reduce their energy consumption from 10% to 15% during the initial years of implementing an energy management system.

Mutual Learning and Support

6.     Third, we improve quickly when we learn from each other.  A laudable industry-led initiative is the Food Manufacturing Energy Efficiency Committee (FMEEC).  Following a benchmark study on EE by the NEA, a group of food manufacturing companies set up the committee to promote and share best practices.  The committee held its first meeting in February this year, and has committed to meet regularly in an effort to grow the industry. 

Government Initiatives and Financial Support

7.     Five years ago, we introduced the Energy Conservation Act, or ECA for short.  The insights that we gained from implementing the various EE initiatives under the ECA have allowed us to develop the next phase of our EE improvement efforts.  The NEA will introduce enhancements progressively following recent amendments made to the ECA earlier this year.  Let me recap the key enhancements.

8.     Next year, we will introduce the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (or MEPS) for common industrial equipment and systems, starting with motors.  MEPS will help to phase out inefficient motors from the market.  Given that energy constitutes 95% of a motor’s life cycle cost, companies can look forward to significant savings when they purchase premium efficiency motors. 

9.     We will also be implementing a requirement for new facilities and major expansions that are expected to consume more than 54 TJ of energy - to conduct energy efficiency assessments of their designs in 2018. This will ensure that EE opportunities are identified early, and companies can incorporate system-level synergies at the initial stage of a project.  NEA has been consulting companies on this requirement and the finalised details of the new requirements will be released later this year.

10.     Taking into account industry feedback, the NEA also launched the Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F) in March to support companies, especially SMEs, in their EE efforts.  Under the fund, the government will provide co-funding support for resource efficient design, energy audits, and direct grants for SMEs to invest in EE equipment and technologies, such as energy efficient motor retrofits. 

NEEC 2017 & EENP Awards

11.     I would like to encourage all participants to take advantage of your time at this conference to share your experiences and learn from one another.  You might be from different companies but you share the common goal of improving the efficiency of your operations. Your manufacturing processes, industrial systems, and management practices present invaluable opportunities for mutual learning.

12.     I warmly congratulate all EENP award winners for your commitment and outstanding achievements. I hope the awards will spur you to continuously innovate and push the boundaries for energy efficiency.

13.     I am happy that this year, a total of 12 companies, 1 energy manager, 2 energy services providers, 2 public sector agencies and 2 schools will be receiving awards. Best of all, the combined energy savings of all the winning projects in the Best Practices category is about 1,290 TJ.  This is equivalent to 74 kilotonnes of CO2 reduction, or removing almost 23,000 cars from our roads.  I am very encouraged that more companies and institutions are stepping up efforts to make their operations and processes more environmentally friendly – true to the spirit of the Sustainable Singapore Movement.   

14.     Collectively, we can make a difference. Let us all do our part to make Singapore a more liveable and sustainable home for generations to come.    

Closing

15.     Thank you, and I wish everyone a fruitful two days here at the NEEC.

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