Singapore Guide to Government Funding and Incentives for the Environment

May 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Policies

[Read the updated 2012 guide]

Singapore is well-known as a clean and green city with the government striving for environmental sustainability while growing the economy. The government has also identified Environmental and Water Technologies (EWT) including Clean Energy as strategic areas where Singapore has a competitive edge and which could generate future economic growth.

To accelerate the growth of the environmental industry and to maintain Singapore’s image as a clean and green city, the government has initiated several funding and incentive schemes related to energy efficiency, clean energy, green buildings, water and environmental technologies, green transport, waste minimisation, environmental management system, environmental initiatives and clean development mechanism.

The funding and incentive schemes are provided by government agencies such as:

Here’s our guide to the various government funding and incentives for the environment, which could help us move towards a Low Carbon Singapore:

  1. Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance Scheme (EASe)
  2. Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies (GREET)
  3. Accelerated Depreciation Tax Allowance
  4. Design for Efficiency Scheme (DfE)
  5. SCEM Training Grant
  6. Clean Energy Research and Testbedding Programme (CERT)
  7. Clean Energy Research Programme (CERP)
  8. Solar Capability Scheme (SCS)
  9. Market Development Fund
  10. Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings (GMIS-EB)
  11. Green Mark Incentive Scheme for New Buildings (GMIS-NB)
  12. Green Mark Gross Floor Area Incentive Scheme (GM-GFA)
  13. MND Research Fund for the Built Environment
  14. Pilot Incentive Scheme for Green Roofs
  15. Gross Floor Area Incentives for Outdoor Refreshment Area on Rooftops
  16. Water Efficiency Fund (WEF)
  17. Fast-Track Environmental and Water Technologies Incubator Scheme (Fast-Tech)
  18. Technology Pioneer (TechPioneer) Scheme
  19. Incentive for Research and Innovation Scheme (IRIS)
  20. Environmental Technology Capability Development Programme (EnviroTech CDP)
  21. Innovation Voucher Scheme
  22. Innovation for Environmental Sustainability (IES) Fund
  23. Land Transport Innovation Fund (LTIF)
  24. Green Vehicle Rebate (GVR)
  25. 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Fund
  26. Local Enterprise Technical Assistance Scheme (LETAS)
  27. 3P Partnership Fund
  28. Clean Development Mechanism Documentation Grant

If we missed out any funding or incentive scheme, do let us know. Thanks!

Energy Efficiency

1. Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance Scheme (EASe)

NEA provides a co-funding scheme called the Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance Scheme (EASe), to help companies in the manufacturing and building sectors engage accredited Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) to conduct energy audits and recommend energy saving measures. Funding is provided up to 50% of the qualifying costs of engaging an ESCO and capped at $200,000 for a single facility or building over a five-year period.

2. Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies (GREET)

energy-efficiencyThe Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies (GREET) by NEA provides funding for the Singapore-registered owner or operator of existing or proposed industrial facilities to invest in energy efficient equipment or technologies. Funding is provided up to 50% of the qualifying costs and capped at $2 million per project. Only projects with a payback of more than 3 years and up to 7 years are eligible for funding.

3. Accelerated Depreciation Tax Allowance

The Accelerated Depreciation Tax Allowance scheme by NEA encourages companies to replace old inefficient equipment and invest in energy saving equipment. The capital expenditure on the qualifying energy efficient equipment can be written off in one year instead of three.

4. Design for Efficiency Scheme (DfE)

The Design for Efficiency Scheme (DfE) by NEA aims to encourage new facilities that are large consumers of energy to integrate energy and resource efficiency improvements into their development plans early in the design stage. Funding is provided up to 80% of the qualifying costs or $600,000, whichever is lower.

5. SCEM Training Grant

The Singapore Certified Energy Manager (SCEM) Programme offers training and certification in energy management, and is for engineering professionals to develop the technical skills and competence to become the Energy Managers of their organisations. The SCEM Training Grant is a co-funding scheme by NEA to fund the training cost at the Professional Level SCEM Programme. Successful grant applicants only pay a subsidised course fee of S$963 instead of the full course fee of S$5,885.

Clean Energy

6. Clean Energy Research and Testbedding Programme (CERT)

The Clean Energy Research and Testbedding Programme (CERT) by the Clean Energy Programme Office (CEPO) and managed by EDB, is a $17 million funding initiative for local and foreign companies and organisations to test and implement clean energy technologies at suitable sites. CERT involves three key partners: the R&D organisations, the technology providers, and the implementers. These three partners are involve in the following areas (obtained from the CERT press release):

The R&D organisations will lead and conduct testbedding activities, while the technology providers will be private sector companies providing the Clean Energy equipment and technologies to participate in the testbedding. Government agencies which are providing the testbedding location and facilitating the project are the implementers.

7. Clean Energy Research Programme (CERP)

solarparkThe Clean Energy Research Programme (CERP) by the National Research Foundation (NRF) is a $50 million funding initiative for Institutes of Higher Learning, public sector agencies, private companies based in Singapore, and not-for-profit research laboratories, to conduct research and development projects in clean energy. The R&D projects are submitted based on calls for proposals in domains specified by the Clean Energy Programme Office (CEPO). Funding support is up to 70% or 100% of approved direct qualifying costs of a project.

8. Solar Capability Scheme (SCS)

Under the Solar Capability Scheme (SCS), EDB provides funding for new private buildings to install solar technologies. The building must be certified with minimum Green Mark Gold rating by BCA, and the minimum solar system installed should be 10 kWp. The funding provided is between 30% to 40% of the total capital cost and capped at $1 million.

9. Market Development Fund

The Market Development Fund is a $5 million funding initiative by the Energy Market Authority to help in the test-bedding of new electricity generation technologies such as solar, wind, hydrogen and fuel cell, which has significant potential and value in the electricity market.

Green Buildings

10. Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings (GMIS-EB)

The government recently announced in the Sustainable Singapore blueprint that it has set a target for 80% of the existing building stock to achieve at least Green Mark Certified rating by 2030. A $100 million Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings (GMIS-EB) was set up by BCA to encourage private building owners of existing buildings to undertake improvements in energy efficiency. The scheme provides a cash incentive that co-funds up to 35% of the costs for energy efficiency improvements and capped at $1.5 million.

11. Green Mark Incentive Scheme for New Buildings (GMIS-NB)

green-buildingThe enhanced $20 million Green Mark Incentive Scheme for New Buildings (GMIS-NB) by BCA is to accelerate the adoption of green building technologies and design practices. The enhanced scheme provides cash incentives to developers, building owners, project architects and M&E engineers, who achieve at least a BCA Green Mark Gold rating in the design and construction of new buildings.

12. Green Mark Gross Floor Area Incentive Scheme (GM-GFA)

The Green Mark Gross Floor Area Incentive Scheme (GM-GFA) by BCA and URA is to encourage the private sector to develop buildings that attain the higher Green Mark ratings. URA will grant additional floor area over and above the Master Plan Gross Plot Ratio (GPR) control, up to 1% for Green Mark Gold Plus developments and up to 2% for Green Mark Platinum developments, and subject to a cap of 2,500 sqm for Gold Plus and 5,000 sqm for Platinum.

13. MND Research Fund for the Built Environment

The MND Research Fund for the Built Environment is a $50 million funding initiative by the Ministry of National Development (MND) and managed by BCA. The objective of the fund is:

To encourage and support applied R&D that will raise the quality of life and make Singapore a distinctive global city

Under the MND Research Fund, some key focus areas include sustainable development projects such as integrating solar technologies into building facades. The fund covers 30% to 75% of the qualifying cost of the project, subject to a cap of $2 million.

14. Pilot Incentive Scheme for Green Roofs

The Pilot Incentive Scheme for Green Roofs by NParks will start in September 2009 to encourage existing building owners to green their rooftops. The scheme will pilot in the Downtown and Orchard Planning areas, and target low to mid-rise buildings that are highly visible and buildings with low level of street-level greenery. Funding is provided up to 50% of the cost of installation of the green roofs.

15. Gross Floor Area Incentives for Outdoor Refreshment Area on Rooftops

The Gross Floor Area Incentives for Outdoor Refreshment Area on Rooftops by URA complements NParks’ Pilot Incentive Scheme for Green Roofs. URA will grant existing buildings within the Orchard and Downtown Core planning areas additional gross floor area (GFA), beyond the Master Plan permissible Gross Plot Ratio (GPR), to be used for an outdoor refreshment area (ORA) on the rooftop if development owners introduce rooftop landscaping. The incentive scheme provides bonus GFA of up to 200 sqm or 50% of the roof space for ORA use.

Water and Environmental Technologies

16. Water Efficiency Fund (WEF)

The Water Efficiency Fund (WEF) by PUB encourages companies to be more efficient in managing their water demand or promote water conservation in the community. For feasibility studies, PUB will co-fund 50% of the study cost, subject to a cap of $50,000. For water audits, PUB will co-fund 50% of the water audit cost, subject to a cap of $5,000. For community campaigns and programmes, PUB will co-fund 50% of organising the programme, subject to a cap of $5000. Funding is also available for water recycling efforts and use of alternative source of water.

17. Fast-Track Environmental and Water Technologies Incubator Scheme (Fast-Tech)

pub-exhibitThe Fast-Track Environmental and Water Technologies Incubator Scheme (Fast-Tech) is an initiative by the Environmental and Water Industry Development Council (EWI) and managed by EDB. The Fast-Tech scheme aims to grow environmental and water start-ups by providing financial incentives and mentoring by specialized incubators. Funding is provided up to $500,000 per company or up to 85% of qualifying costs, over two years.

18. Technology Pioneer (TechPioneer) Scheme

The Technology Pioneer (TechPioneer) Scheme by the Environmental and Water Industry Development Council (EWI) aims to accelerate the commercialization of new environment and water technologies by bringing together both technology vendors and users to apply jointly under this scheme. Funding is provided up to $2 million or 30% of total qualifying costs for a technology user.

19. Incentive for Research and Innovation Scheme (IRIS)

The Incentive for Research and Innovation Scheme (IRIS) by the Environmental and Water Industry Development Council (EWI) funds Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), Research Institutes and Singapore companies to research and develop new environmental and water technologies (EWT) that lead to significant and sustainable growth opportunities in the EWT industry. Funding is provided up to 100% for IHLs, public sector agencies and non-profit research entities, and up to 70% for companies and for-profit research entities.

20. Environmental Technology Capability Development Programme (EnviroTech CDP)

The Environmental Technology Capability Development Programme (EnviroTech CDP) by SPRING helps local environmental small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to enhance their enterprise competitiveness and industry innovation. The EnviroTech CDP covers applied research, product development and commercialisation. Funding is provided for a portion of the project qualifying costs, which include manpower, equipment, materials, and professional services.

21. Innovation Voucher Scheme

The Innovation Voucher Scheme (IVS) by SPRING aims to encourage local SMEs to work with public Knowledge Institutions (KI) like the Centres of Innovation (COIs) to test new technology and innovative ideas. All SMEs can apply for an innovation voucher worth S$5,000 from SPRING, which can be redeemed at participating KIs such as the Centre of Innovation in Environmental and Water Technology (EWT COI) in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, for advice and to develop new products and processes.

22. Innovation for Environmental Sustainability (IES) Fund

The Innovation for Environmental Sustainability (IES) Fund is managed by NEA and helps companies to implement innovative environmental projects. The proposed project must have strong innovation and early adoption elements, and help Singapore meet its goal of environmental sustainability. The IES Fund provides funding to cover some of the qualifying cost of the project, up to a maximum of $2 million.

Green Transport

23. Land Transport Innovation Fund (LTIF)

The $50 million Land Transport Innovation Fund (LTIF) by LTA encourages research initiatives in land transport research and pilot trials for a more viable and sustainable land transport system. Funding is provided up to 90% of the total project cost and capped at $1 million per project.

24. Green Vehicle Rebate (GVR)

Owners of new hybrid, electric and CNG vehicles will enjoy the Green Vehicle Rebate (GVR) till 31 Dec 2011. The rebate is equivalent to 40% (for passenger vehicles) or 5% (for buses and commercial vehicles) of the vehicle’s Open Market Value (OMV) that can be used to offset the Additional Registration Fee (ARF) payable at registration.

Waste Minimisation

25. 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Fund

The 3R Fund by NEA is a $8 million co-funding scheme to encourage organisations to implement waste minimisation and recycling projects. Funding is provided up to 80% of the qualifying costs and subject to a cap of $1 million per project, and depends on the quantity and type of waste reduced or recycled.

Environmental Management System

26. Local Enterprise Technical Assistance Scheme (LETAS)

The Local Enterprise Technical Assistance Scheme (LETAS) by SPRING helps SMEs to engage an external consultant to implement quality management and IT systems, including the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System standard. Funding is provided up to 50% of consultancy cost, subject to a maximum grant cap of $5,000.

Environmental Initiatives

27. 3P Partnership Fund

The 3P Partnership Fund by NEA aims to encourage organisations, companies and individuals from the People, Private and Public (3P) sectors to work together to develop environmental initiatives and promote environmental ownership. First-time applicants would receive no more than 50% of the eligible costs, while for other applicants, the Evaluation Panel will determine the grant to be offered based on the merits of the submission.

Clean Development Mechanism

28. Clean Development Mechanism Documentation Grant

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Documentation Grant by NEA encourages companies to develop CDM projects in Singapore. Funding is provided up to 50% of the qualifying cost of engaging a carbon consultant to develop a new methodology and Project Design Document (PDD), or only up to 30% if the carbon consultant develops a PDD using an existing approved methodology. The maximum amount of funding for a CDM project is capped at $100,000.

Image credit: TALUDA; Energy Label via E2 Singapore.

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