Knowledge Highlights 22 October 2020

On 8 October 2020, the National Environment Agency (“NEA”), Economic Development Board (“EDB”) and Building and Construction Authority (“BCA”) announced the launch of three new grants to encourage companies to make an early switch to water-cooled chillers using lower global warming potential (“GWP”) refrigerants. The switch will help reduce Singapore’s greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions arising from the use of hydrofluorocarbons (“HFCs”) in the refrigeration and air-conditioning (“RAC”) sector.

HFCs are a class of chemicals that are commonly used as refrigerants in RAC equipment. When emitted into the environment, HFCs are much more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to global warming. As part of measures to reduce Singapore’s GHG emissions, NEA intends to restrict the supply of water-cooled chillers using high-GWP refrigerants from the fourth quarter of 2022.

Owing to their higher energy efficiency, the use of low-GWP refrigerant chillers, which use refrigerants with GWP of 15 or less, generally results in lower energy costs when compared with high-GWP refrigerant chillers. However, low-GWP refrigerant chillers have higher upfront costs. The three grants will support companies to switch to low-GWP refrigerant water-cooled chillers and smoothen the transition to the use of climate-friendly RAC equipment. The grants are part of the package of mitigation measures to reduce HFC-related GHG emissions announced in Parliament on 4 March 2020. The grants will support part of the cost of low-GWP refrigerant chillers for space cooling.

Available grants

BCA will administer the grant under a new scheme, Grant for Low-GWP Refrigerant Chillers (LoGR), which supports eligible owners or operators of existing buildings types similar to those regulated under the Building Control (Environmental Sustainability Measures for Existing Buildings) Regulations 2013.

The grants for industrial facilities and data centres will come under the existing Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F) and Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy (REG(E)), which are respectively administered by NEA and EDB.

Companies which do not meet any of the above criteria may contact NEA to check on their eligibility for the grant.

Reference materials

The following materials are available from the BCA website www1.bca.gov.sg:

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