10 Punggol flats to test energy-saving pilot project

TEN households in a Housing Board (HDB) block in Punggol Eco-Town will be selected to be part of a pilot project with the goal to cut energy consumption in public housing by up to 75 per cent.

As part of the project, these homes will be retrofittted with a system called the Home Energy Management System (Hems), which will monitor and display the electricity, water and gas-usage patterns of each household.

Residents would then be able to better adjust their usage to cut consumption and costs.

The project, which will begin in January next year, is the result of a partnership between Japanese electronics giant Panasonic and Singapore's Energy Market Authority, Economic Development Board and HDB. It was announced at an event held at the Four Seasons Hotel yesterday.

Other plans for the project include having the block's lifts, water pump and corridor lighting powered by solar panels that will be fitted onto the roof.

A lithium-ion battery unit will also be used to store excess electricity generated by the solar panels which can then be used at night.

It can also function as a back-up electricity generator. Panasonic said that it will also upgrade air-conditioners in the selected households to its latest inverter air conditioners, which save power by around 50 per cent.

The project will be completed at the end of 2013. If successful, the initiatives will be commercialised for larger-scale implementation.

The 10 households have not been chosen and Panasonic said it will pick them based on factors such as the number of residents living in the flat. More households could also be included later. No costs will be borne by residents.

This is the first time an existing public residential building in Asia will have such technologies introduced.