In line with its drive towards sustainable development, the Singapore government has today announced a new SME Energy Efficiency Initiative. S$17 million has been earmarked for the program, which will funnel 300 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore to a path towards better energy efficiency over the next three years.
Analysis by Singapore company registration specialist Rikvin shows that the initiative is in part, an effort towards lowering overall business costs for SMEs. According to the Singapore Energy Statistics 2012 deck released by the Energy Market Authority, energy costs have grown as a component of electricity tariffs, rising from 11.8 ¢/kWh in 2005 to 20.9 ¢/kWh in 2011. Amid rising fuel prices, operating costs has increased for many SMEs. In addition, energy costs make up approximately 13% of the total operating costs of manufacturing SMEs.
On a more salient note, the move is a step towards transmuting a mode of careless consumption and waste into a more conscious and sustainable one says Ms. Christine Lim, General Manager of Rikvin. “As business costs inevitably rise, many businesses often look back to the government for help. However, a careful stocktake on processes and determining where unnecessary revenue is bleeding is an important step to trimming fat in an organization,” she said.
As business costs inevitably rise, many businesses often look back to the government for help. However, a careful stocktake on processes and determining where unnecessary revenue is bleeding is an important step to trimming fat in an organization.”
“Energy is an area that is often shelved because it requires a substantial amount of effort and investment as well as time. However, the participation of SMEs in this drive is crucial. Now that a significant amount of funding has been earmarked for them, companies with energy-intensive operations are in good stead to benefit,” she added.
The program was developed by SPRING Singapore, and will be led by the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS), the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). It offers four areas of support i.e. energy audit, energy monitoring, energy efficiency project implementation and energy efficiency thought leadership; and aims to help its participants shave 10% off their energy costs over the next three years.
The program is open to SMEs incorporated in Singapore. In addition, companies must have at least 30% local shareholding, and either group annual sales turnover no more than $100 million or a maximum group employment size of 200 employees.
“We hope that this initiative will take flight. Companies big and small, as well as all members of society should be mindful when consuming electricity. It is not only prudent, it makes financial sense,” affirmed Ms. Lim.