SINGAPORE: Three new grants aimed at encouraging companies to switch to water-cooled chillers and reduce the amount of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) they produce have been launched.
The grants will support part of the cost of low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant chillers for space cooling. They are part of a series of measures announced earlier this year aiming to reduce HFC-related greenhouse gas emissions.
GWP is a measure of the warming effect of a gas relative to the warming effect of an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide, usually over a 100-year period.
By switching to low GWP refrigerants, companies can help reduce Singapore’s greenhouse gas emissions arising from the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector, said the National Environment Agency (NEA), Economic Development Board (EDB) and Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in a joint news release on Thursday (Oct 8).
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HFCs are a class of chemicals that are commonly used as refrigerants in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector. When emitted into the environment, HFCs are much more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to global warming.
NEA has previously announced that it intends to restrict the supply of water-cooled chillers using high GWP refrigerants. This will begin from the fourth quarter of 2022.
The three grants will support companies in switching to low GWP refrigerant water-cooled chillers and “smoothen the transition” to the use of climate-friendly refrigeration and air-conditioning sector equipment, said the press release.
A low GWP refrigerant chiller, which uses refrigerants with GWP of 15 or less, generally results in lower energy costs as it is more energy efficient but has a higher upfront cost than a high GWP refrigerant chiller.
"Climate change is an existential challenge for Singapore, which requires a whole-of-nation response, and efforts by all sectors to reduce emissions," said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu.
"I encourage companies to do their part by applying for these grants and make an early switch to equipment with lower GWP refrigerants. This will go a long way in reducing the environmental impact arising from the use of HFCs and help to fight climate change."
BCA will administer the grant under a new scheme - Grant for Low-GWP Refrigerant Chillers - 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 fall under the existing Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F) and Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy (REG(E)). The E2F and REG(E) are administered by NEA and EDB respectively.
Companies which do not meet any of the above criteria can also contact NEA to check on their eligibility for the grant.