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SPEECH BY MR MASAGOS ZULKIFLI, MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER RESOURCES, AT THE LAUNCH OF SWITCH AND SAVE – USE LED PROGRAMME, 18 AUGUST 2018

Fellow Parliamentary Colleagues

Residents of Punggol North

Ladies and Gentlemen

1. Good afternoon. Happy 53rd National Day to all. It is my pleasure to join you this afternoon.

“Switch and Save – Use LED” Programme

2. We are here today to launch a new programme by the National Environment Agency to encourage residents to switch to LED lights. Why are we doing this? Switching to LED lights will help you to save money by using less electricity. An LED bulb uses 40% less electricity than a compact fluorescent lamp, and 80% less electricity than an incandescent lamp. If you switch from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs, you can save $9 a year in electricity costs for every bulb changed.

3. In a 2017 survey, NEA found that only 28 per cent of households in 1- and 2-room HDB flats used LED lights. To encourage more to switch, NEA will provide 1- and 2-room HDB households $25 vouchers to purchase LED lights at participating merchants’ outlets. For North East CDC, this programme will benefit 13,000 eligible households. If all eligible households switch to LED lights, we can save about 360,000 kWh annually – that is more than $70,000 in collective energy savings and a reduction of more than 150 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

 4. So you can see, switching to more energy-efficient lights not only saves money, it is also a form of climate action. Less electricity generated means less greenhouse gas emissions. Our earth has been warming due to excessive greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. In Singapore, we already feel the impact of climate change in heavier rainfall, resulting in flash floods. This is why we have designated 2018 as the Year of Climate Action, to raise the level of national consciousness on the need to take individual and collective action for a sustainable Singapore and to fight climate change.

5. The government cannot tackle climate change alone. Using less electricity at home is one simple climate action that we all can take. I hope that this programme will make it easier for households to switch to LED bulbs. By doing so, you will not only save our earth, you will also save money.

6. We need strong support from the community to sustain the climate action momentum. In the North East district, community partners have been proactively organising ground-up initiatives to raise awareness on ways residents can take climate action in their daily lives. For example, the North East CDC organised the ‘JOE Day’ event, which stands for “Just One Earth”. This is an annual family carnival for pre-schoolers and their families to spread the message of how everyone can take simple actions to care for the environment and take climate action. During the June school holidays, Punggol Coast and Punggol North Grassroots Organisations organised an annual two-day camp for 120 primary school students to learn how they can save electricity at home through hands-on activities.

7. We are making similar efforts in my constituency. At Our Tampines Hub’s 1st Anniversary celebration on 5 August, we organised a climate action exhibition and related activities to encourage everyone to do their part to mitigate climate change.

8. I thank our key partners – North East Community Development Council and Young NTUC – for jointly organising this launch event, in conjunction with Project Refresh.

9. I also thank our retail partners – Sheng Siong, Home Fix, and Selffix, as well as suppliers from Megaman, Osram and Philips – for your strong support of this “Switch and Save - Use LED” programme.

10. We also thank our volunteers. Thirty-four volunteers from Hope Worldwide (Singapore), Meridian Junior College and Singapore Polytechnic were trained this morning by staff from the Sustainable Living Lab. They will be assisting some of the residents with the LED light installation, while more than 300 volunteers from all walks of life are here today to improve the living conditions of homes under Project Refresh. You all are making a difference.

Thank you everyone.

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