Singapore's largest energy guzzlers will be pumping in about $1.24 billion over the next five years to make their work processes greener.
Their efforts - which will include harnessing waste heat - will not only make them more energy efficient, but also save them more than $200 million annually.
The plans of these 168 large energy users which, under the Energy Conservation Act, are required to implement a basic set of energy management practices, were revealed by Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor yesterday at the annual Energy Efficiency National Partnership (EENP) Awards.
Last year, these companies, which operate 213 energy-intensive facilities - such as manufacturing plants - submitted their energy consumption reports and energy efficiency improvement plans for the first time since the Act came into effect in April 2013.
Their efforts also included the appointment of an energy manager, who will spearhead projects to save energy.
Dr Khor said she was happy with their progress and added it was important that they have a strong focus on energy efficiency as they account for the "lion's share of energy use in Singapore".
In 2013, the facilities accounted for about 83 per cent of Singapore's primary energy consumption - energy contained within energy sources like raw fuels - and 63 per cent of final energy consumption, which is energy supplied to consumers.
She said there is no lack of "low-lying fruit" to help companies save energy, noting that these companies will receive paybacks on almost two-thirds of their investments in less than three years, and that most of the measures cost less than $1 million to implement.
However, she stressed that these large energy users must continue to set "more ambitious goals for themselves".
Their current energy consumption targets will amount to only about 0.7 per cent improvement a year for manufacturing companies over the next two years, which is still lower than the 1 to 2 per cent improvements achieved by their counterparts in countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium.
"There is room for improvement," she said.
Meanwhile, 16 organisations and individuals were recognised for their contributions towards saving energy at the fifth EENP Awards.
Among them was lighting-maker Lumileds Singapore, which reduced its energy intensity by 64 per cent from 2011 to 2014.
Keppel District Heating and Cooling Systems (DHCS) saved 14,283 megawatt hours of energy since 2010, which translates to a reduction of 8,577 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Both companies were recognised in the Excellence in Energy Management category.
The two other categories under the EENP Awards are Best Practices and Outstanding Energy Manager of the Year.
Public agencies were recognised separately, under Best Energy Efficiency Practices in the Public Sector.
Mr Sebastian Choo, 51, senior manager of manufacturing services at Molex Singapore, was one of three individuals recognised for being an outstanding energy manager.
He said everyone has a part to play in energy conservation. "That's why we stress: When you leave the room, turn off the lights; when you go for lunch, shut off your machine, even though it takes you five minutes."
This article was first published on Oct 7, 2015.
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