Government 'will not hesitate' to roll out more measures if needed to support consumers as electricity prices rise: Tan See Leng
SINGAPORE: With global energy prices “likely to remain elevated” due to the Ukraine crisis, the Government "will not hesitate" to introduce further measures if necessary to support vulnerable consumers, said Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng on Friday (Mar 4).
Speaking in Parliament during the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) Committee of Supply debate, Dr Tan responded to questions about the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Singapore’s energy supply.
"While Singapore's sources of fuel are diversified, and the conflict in Ukraine poses limited direct risks to our supplies, we will be affected by the high or volatile global gas prices arising from the conflict," he added.
The Government will "spare no effort" to ensure that Singapore's energy supply remains secure and reliable, said Dr Tan.
“I understand the cost pressures faced by households and businesses. We will constantly continue to monitor market developments and we will not hesitate to introduce further measures if necessary, to support vulnerable consumers,” he said.
Eligible households will receive U-Save rebates for utility expenses, and businesses can tap on loans offered by Enterprise Singapore, said Dr Tan.
MTI and the Energy Market Authority (EMA) have established a standby fuel facility to ensure that generation companies have enough fuel reserves, he added.
Generation companies can tap on the facility to produce electricity, said Dr Tan. The authorities also work with generation companies and electricity retailers to offer fixed-price contracts under the Temporary Retail Electricity Contracting Support scheme, he added.
The scheme has since been extended from March to May 2022, and MTI will extend it further if necessary, said the minister.
EMA is also working with these companies to offer longer-term, fixed-price contracts to consumers who want more price stability.
Singapore can also enhance energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption, he added.
"In fact, we have rolled out a series of measures to encourage consumers to do so by redesigning electricity bills to benchmark individual consumption across other similar users, and mandating energy-intensive companies to implement energy conservation and energy management practices," he added.
"We urge all consumers to use energy prudently, and to adopt energy conservation as a way of life."