Energy intensity improvement

What is energy intensity?

Energy intensity is defined as the amount of energy needed to generate a unit of gross domestic product (GDP). It is not the same as energy efficiency.

Compared to countries with low energy intensities, Singapore’s higher energy intensity is largely due to the use of energy in our manufacturing sector. However, we have sought to improve our energy efficiency in several ways, such as introducing regulations for industries as well as appliances sold to households.

Singapore is alternative-energy disadvantaged. Renewable sources prominent in other countries such as hydroelectric, geothermal, and wind energy, cannot be harnessed effectively in Singapore due to our geographical circumstances – generally flat, a small land area and low wind speeds.

Efforts to improve Singapore’s energy intensity

  • Energy conservation act (ECA): This legislative tool is intended to help business focus their attention and action on energy management. (page 54)
  • Energy efficiency National Partnership programme: This is a voluntary programme to help companies learn and share best practices. (page 55)
  • Singapore Certified Energy Manager (SCEM) programme: Equips facilities personnel with the knowledge and skills to help them manage energy use within their facilities
  • The Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F) supports energy efficiency efforts of industrial facilities – from the efficient design of new facilities to operation of industrial facilities.
  • Companies setting up new facilities in Singapore are encouraged to integrate energy efficiency improvements into the design of the facilities. This is the most cost effective approach to improving the energy performance of facilities. By capitalising on system design synergies, efficiently designed systems can drive capital cost savings from reduced capacity needs in utility systems, as well as lower energy, operating and maintenance costs in the operation phase. Design workshops are focused and collaborative efforts to design facilities to be energy efficient. The E2F co-funds up to 50% of the cost of a design workshop or $600,000, whichever is lower.
  • Companies are encouraged to carry out energy audits on operating facilities to identify potential areas of energy savings and estimate the amount of savings achievable. These may include improvements to facility design, operation and management. Energy audits involve detailed assessments of a facility’s energy consumption and development of EE improvement plans. The E2F[1] co-funds up to 50% of the costs of such energy audits, subject to a cap of $200,000.
  • SMEs operating new and existing industrial facilities are encouraged to invest in energy efficient equipment or technologies. The E2F co-funds up to 30% of the investment cost of energy efficient equipment or technologies.
  • Mandatory Energy Labelling Scheme (MELS)  - To help households make more informed purchasing decisions, MELS provides information that allows consumers to compare the energy efficiency of different appliances. MELS currently covers household refrigerators, air-conditioners, clothes dryers, televisions, and lamps.
  • Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPs) – MEPS are meant to raise the average energy efficiency of products in the market. Under the regulations, only appliances that meet the minimum energy efficiency standards are allowed for sale. Appliances covered under MEPS include refrigerators, air-conditioners, clothes dryers, televisions and lamps.

Energy Intensity Improvement (from 2005 levels) 

Energy intensity improvement (from 2005 levels)

[1] This grant component is supported under EDB’s Productivity Grant (Energy Efficiency).