2012 Guide to Singapore Government Funding and Incentives for the Environment

By Eugene Tay

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 City in a Garden, the government has initiated several funding and incentive schemes related to energy efficiency, clean energy, green buildings, water and environmental technologies, green transport and shipping, waste minimisation, energy and greenhouse gas management, and environmental initiatives and training.

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

To help businesses understand what’s available, we have compiled a list of 35 government funding and incentives for the environment:

  1. Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance Scheme (EASe)
  2. Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies (GREET)
  3. One-Year Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Energy Efficient Equipment and Technology (ADAS)
  4. Design for Efficiency Scheme (DfE)
  5. Singapore Certified Energy Manager (SCEM) Training Grant
  6. Clean Energy Research and Testbedding Programme (CERT)
  7. Energy Research Development Fund (ERDF)
  8. Solar Capability Scheme (SCS)
  9. Pilot Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) Scheme
  10. Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings (GMIS-EB)
  11. Green Mark Incentive Scheme – Design Prototype (GMIS-DP)
  12. Green Mark Gross Floor Area Incentive Scheme (GM-GFA)
  13. MND Research Fund for the Built Environment
  14. A*STAR-MND Joint Grant Call
  15. Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme
  16. Sustainable Construction Capability Development Fund
  17. Water Efficiency Fund (WEF)
  18. Fast-Track Environmental and Water Technologies Incubator Scheme (Fast-Tech)
  19. TechPioneer Scheme
  20. Incentive for Research and Innovation Scheme (IRIS)
  21. Innovation Voucher Scheme
  22. Innovation for Environmental Sustainability (IES) Fund
  23. One-year Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Highly Efficient Pollution Control Equipment
  24. Land Transport Innovation Fund (LTIF)
  25. Green Vehicle Rebate (GVR)
  26. Transport Technology Innovation and Development Scheme (TIDES+)
  27. Green Technology Programme
  28. Green Ship Programme
  29. Green Port Programme
  30. 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Fund
  31. Environment Technology Research Programme (ETRP)
  32. Quality for Enterprises through Standards (QUEST) Programme
  33. Clean Development Mechanism Documentation Grant
  34. 3P Partnership Fund
  35. Infocomm Leadership and Development Programme (iLEAD) Expanded

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

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

1. Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance Scheme (EASe)

energy-efficiencyNEA 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)

The 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. One-Year Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Energy Efficient Equipment and Technology (ADAS)

The One-Year Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Energy Efficient Equipment and Technology (ADAS) tax incentive 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. Singapore Certified Energy Manager (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.

CLEAN ENERGY

6. Clean Energy Research and Testbedding Programme (CERT)

solarparkThe 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: “R&D organistions will lead and conduct testbedding activities, while technology providers will provide the clean energy equipment and technologies to participate in these activities. The implementers are Government agencies, which will provide the testbedding locations as well as facilitate these projects.”

7. Energy Research Development Fund (ERDF)

The Energy Research Development Fund (ERDF) by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) is a $25 million fund to support the implementation of new and innovative energy solutions that diversify our energy sources, improve our energy security, help achieve our energy intensity reduction targets, and develop our energy industry. The funds from the ERDF was used to support projects submitted through the Smart Energy Challenge (SEC) launched in Nov 2009. The SEC currently provides funding of up to $5 million per project.

8. Solar Capability Scheme (SCS)

Under the Solar Capability Scheme (SCS), EDB provides funding for new private commercial and industrial buildings to install solar technologies. The building must be certified with minimum Green Mark Gold Plus rating by BCA, and the minimum solar system installed should be 150 kWp. The funding provided is up to 30% of the total capital cost and capped at S$1 million per project.

GREEN BUILDINGS

9. Pilot Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) Scheme

green-buildingThe pilot Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) Scheme by BCA in collaboration with participating Financial Institutions (FIs), is a financing programme to provide credit facilities for commercial building owners, MCSTs and Energy Services Companies to carry out energy efficiency retrofits of existing commercial buildings, which will lead to the building achieving minimum Green Mark certified standard. The maximum loan quantum per loan is up to S$5 million and the interest rate is decided by the FI (minimum at 3.5%). The maximum loan tenure is between 18 months to 8 years.

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

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 efficient equipment installed, and capped at $1.5 million. The GMIS-EB also includes a Health Check scheme, which is an energy audit to determine the efficiency of the air-conditioning plants. BCA will co-fund 50% of the cost and the remaining 50% is borne by the building owner.

11. Green Mark Incentive Scheme – Design Prototype (GMIS-DP)

The Green Mark Incentive Scheme – Design Prototype (GMIS – DP) by BCA is to encourage developers and building owners to focus on energy efficiency in buildings right at the design stage. The scheme provides funding for the engagement of Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) consultants to conduct collaborative design workshops and assist in simulation studies early in the project.

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. A*STAR-MND Joint Grant Call

The A*STAR-MND Joint Grant Call launched by BCA, A*STAR and MND is a call for proposals in green building technologies. This is open to researchers in all local public sector research organisations, universities, polytechnics, A*STAR-funded research institutes and centres, and Singapore-based companies. Each project should have at least one industry partner as its co-investigator to encourage R&D collaboration between research organisations and private companies.

15. Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme

The Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme (SGIS) by NParks is to encourage the installation of skyrise greenery on existing residential and non-residential buildings in Singapore. Funding is provided up to 50% of the cost of installation of green roofs and vertical greenery.

16. Sustainable Construction Capability Development Fund

The Sustainable Construction Capability Development Fund (SC Fund) by BCA is a $15 million fund for developing capabilities of the building industry in adopting sustainable construction methods and materials. The SC Fund will focus on recycling of waste from the demolition of buildings and the use of recycled materials for construction. Funding is up to 50% of the total qualifying cost, depending on the type of application and the merits of the project.

WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES

17. Water Efficiency Fund (WEF)

pub-exhibitThe 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.

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

The 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.

19. TechPioneer Scheme

The 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 $10 million or 70% of total qualifying costs for a technology user.

20. Incentive for Research and Innovation Scheme (IRIS)

The Incentive for Research and Innovation Scheme (IRIS) under the Environment and Water Research Programme (EWRP) managed 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.

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.

The IVS will be renamed as Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV) from 1 Jun 2012.

22. Innovation for Environmental Sustainability (IES) Fund

The Innovation for Environmental Sustainability (IES) Fund is managed by NEA and helps companies to implement environmental protection and public health related projects. The proposed project should be at the applied research and test-bedding stage of technology development, and helps 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 and up to a maximum of 3 years.

23. One-year Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Highly Efficient Pollution Control Equipment

The One-year Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Highly Efficient Pollution Control Equipment tax incentive scheme by NEA encourages the use of highly efficient air and water pollution control equipment. The qualifying capital expenditure on the equipment can be written off completely against the taxable income of the company in the year following the year of purchase.

GREEN TRANSPORT AND SHIPPING

24. Land Transport Innovation Fund (LTIF)

The $50 million Land Transport Innovation Fund (LTIF) by LTA encourages research initiatives in land transport conceptual stage research and pilot trial, for a more viable and sustainable land transport system. Funding is provided up to 90% of the total project cost and the length of the trial period of the proposed project is capped at a maximum of 1 year.

25. Green Vehicle Rebate (GVR)

Owners of new hybrid, electric, CNG and bi-fuel vehicles will enjoy the Green Vehicle Rebate (GVR) till 31 Dec 2012. The rebate is equivalent to 40% (for passenger vehicles), 5% (for buses and commercial vehicles), or 10% (for electric motorcycles) of the vehicle’s Open Market Value (OMV) that can be used to offset the Additional Registration Fee (ARF) payable at registration.

The GVR will be replaced by the new Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) from 1 January 2013.

26. Transport Technology Innovation and Development Scheme (TIDES+)

The Transport Technology Innovation and Development Scheme (TIDES+) by EDB and LTA is for companies and organisations taking part in the electric vehicle test-bed programme. The enhanced TIDES+ scheme waives all vehicular taxes such as Additional Registration Fees, Certificate of Entitlement, road tax and excise duty for the purpose of R&D and test-bedding of transport technologies. Vehicles approved under TIDES+ can enjoy the tax waiver for an initial period of six years.

27. Green Technology Programme

The Green Technology Programme by MPA encourages local maritime companies engaging in terminal operations, ship owning and/or operations and harbour craft operations, to develop and adopt green technologies. Projects should have verifiable emissions reduction for sulphur oxide, nitric oxide, and carbon dioxide, that comply with industry performance guidelines. Funding is up to 50% of the total qualifying costs and capped at S$2 million per project.

28. Green Ship Programme

The Green Ship Programme by MPA provides incentives to ship owners who adopt energy efficient ship designs that reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Singapore-flagged ships registered on or after 1 July 2011, which go beyond the requirements of the International Maritime Organization’s Energy Efficiency Design Index, will enjoy a 50% reduction on the Initial Registration Fees (IRF) and a 20% rebate on Annual Tonnage Tax payable every year. Existing ships which utilise energy efficient ship designs can also enjoy the 20% rebate on Annual Tonnage Tax.

29. Green Port Programme

The Green Port Programme by MPA is to encourage ocean-going vessels calling at the Port of Singapore to reduce the emission of pollutants. Under the programme, 15% concession in port dues will be granted to ocean-going vessels that use type-approved abatement/scrubber technology or clean fuels during the entire port stay (5 days or less).

WASTE MINIMISATION

30. 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Fund

The 3R Fund by NEA is a 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.

The 3R Fund is open for application from 2 May to 15 June 2012. Subsequent calls will be announced at a later date.

31. Environment Technology Research Programme (ETRP)

The Environment Technology Research Programme (ETRP) is a $15 million seed funding programme by NEA to build up technological competencies and support companies and researchers in waste management. The ETRP awards grants to R&D projects on waste management such as energy recovery, materials recovery and special waste treatment, and is open to researchers from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), public sector agencies, for-profit and not-for-profit research organisations, and Singapore-registered companies. The maximum funding for each project is up to $2 million and for a maximum of 3 years.

ENERGY AND GREENHOUSE GAS MANAGEMENT

32. Quality for Enterprises through Standards (QUEST) Programme

The Quality for Enterprises through Standards (QUEST) Programme by SPRING aims to encourage companies to enhance their productivity and competitiveness through implementing standards in emerging areas such as carbon reduction, clean technology and energy efficiency. Current standards that are supported include the ISO 14064 Greenhouse Gas Management and the ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems.

33. 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.

ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES AND TRAINING

34. 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.

35. Infocomm Leadership and Development Programme (iLEAD) Expanded

The Infocomm Leadership and Development Programme (iLEAD) Expanded is a manpower development initiative by IDA to develop the knowledge and capabilities of infocomm professionals in niche technology areas, including Green ICT. Companies can become an iLEAD Partner and tap on iLEAD Expanded to build up the capabilities of their employees and new trainees via local and overseas work attachments and overseas professional development courses. IDA will co-fund training grants or course fees.

Image: Wordle image via http://www.wordle.net/

 

About the Writer:

EUGENE TAY is Founder of Green Future Solutions, a Singapore based sustainability consultancy firm. This article originally appeared in Green Business Times, one of the several websites managed by him. 

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