Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/169502
Title: ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN BUILDINGS: A PROPOSED POLICY APPROACH FOR SINGAPORE
Authors: LIEW WOON KWONG
Issue Date: 2002
Citation: LIEW WOON KWONG (2002). ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN BUILDINGS: A PROPOSED POLICY APPROACH FOR SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Much of the environmental impacts of energy production come from combustion of fossil fuels, source of most of the world's electricity. These impacts have given rise to policies at the national and international levels, to integrate energy development with economic, social, security and environmental concerns. These concerns form strong and compelling reasons for governments to promote energy efficiency policies. In spite of the economic development and progress over the years, the level of energy efficiency in Singapore has lagged behind that in other developed countries. Several studies reveal a widespread perception that energy efficiency can be improved in all sectors of the economy in Singapore, more so in commercial buildings. This study investigates policy approaches the government can take to encourage improvement in the level of commercial building energy efficiency. Review of the policies and practices of various international, national organisations and individuals reveal four primary barriers to energy efficiency and five groups of policy mechanisms are recommended to overcome these barriers. Interviews with the public and private sector representatives in Singapore were conducted to understand their perception on the local situation. The interviews showed that various aspects of the four types of barriers are present. Of these, they perceived high initial costs and long payback periods of energy efficiency measures as the main barriers. Other findings showed that multiple agencies under different ministries, weak provisions in Acts and Regulations and non-mandatory requirements of Code of Practices, ineffective financial incentive, rudimentary information programmes all leave scope for improvement in efficiency. Furthermore, government policies approach energy efficiency from an environmental angle whilst the building industry is more responsive to financial forces. Whereas the government advocates using the free market to achieve energy efficiency and dealing with inefficiencies through non-interventionist methods like information programmes, the building industry is looking for stronger government involvement through better regulations and financial incentives. The cumulative result of not investing in the optimal level of building energy efficiency measures by numerous individual companies can cause a significant detrimental impact at the national level. Therefore, the government must take stronger actions. The examination of international practices, understanding of the local situation and the interviews led to the recommendation of five policy approaches the government can take to improve commercial building energy efficiency in Singapore - (i) Strengthening the institutional framework; (ii) Formulation of new regulations and standards; (iii) Implementation of better economic instruments; (iv) Improvements to educational programmes; and (v) Rethinking in research and development directions. Singapore has proven its capabilities to efficiently pass, implement and enforce laws. Furthermore, existing policies on energy efficiency form a good framework to develop the recommendations.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/169502
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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