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Ministry of Finance leading the way in energy-efficiency practices

03 Oct 2017

THE Ministry of Finance (MOF) has received a commendation for Best Energy Efficiency Practices in the public sector in the large-building category for The Treasury building, which houses several ministries and departments of the government.

This award category recognises outstanding public-sector agencies that have demonstrated exemplary commitment in adopting good energy-efficiency practices and have been proactive in implementing energy-efficiency improvements for their buildings.

MOF was the first ministry to adopt the Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance (GESP) contracting model for its chiller retrofit in 2010. It has so far implemented two GESP projects and has also demonstrated efforts in educating and raising the awareness of its tenants. This includes designing its own posters and participating in Earth Hour.

Its efforts and tenant participation in its energy-savings programmes has resulted in a 28 per cent reduction in The Treasury's electricity consumption since 2002. This was achieved despite an increase in the number of occupants.

Following the implementation of the second GESP this year, The Treasury can potentially reduce its electricity consumption by another 7 per cent.

Wong Siew Fong, head (Admin, Security & Preparedness) at MOF says that there are various ways to improve energy efficiency, such as using energy-efficient equipment (air-conditioning system, lighting, etc); and reducing energy wastage.

"Improving energy efficiency enables us to reduce our overall energy needs and costs. A reduced need for energy imports leads to higher energy security and lower carbon emissions," he adds.

"Being energy efficient reduces our carbon footprint, achieves cost savings and facilitates climate change mitigation. The public sector can contribute to these efforts by ensuring energy efficiency in government buildings."

To improve the energy efficiency of the Treasury building, the facilities team has implemented many initiatives through the years, including adopting measures under the Public Sector Taking the Lead in Environmental Sustainability initiative which fulfilled the resource-management plans; enhanced waste-management measures by reducing, reusing and recycling; and appointed a sustainability manager to execute plans and measures.

Under the first guaranteed energy-saving project in 2010, the facilities team replaced chillers and pumps with more energy-efficient ones; installed pre-cooled coils for AHUs system; and installed variable speed drive for mechanical ventilation fans.

With the second guaranteed energy-saving project undertaken this year, the facilities team replaced older chillers with more energy-efficient chillers; replaced staircase and car park lights with LED lights; and installed carbon-monoxide sensors to regulate the car park fans.

On how MOF has benefited from these initiatives, Ms Wong says: "We have achieved higher energy efficiency and lower operating costs. The users of the building have also benefited from a more comfortable indoor environment.

"More importantly, we have, together with our tenant agencies, strengthened our commitment to take the lead in environmental sustainability."

MOF's building management team has two certified Green Mark Facilities Managers (GMFM). The team has also attended green mark facilities courses and green building conferences to upgrade its skills and knowledge. "Moving forward, we will continue to enhance our resource-management plans, replace existing equipment and devices with more energy-efficient ones as well as encourage more officers to participate and support the green programmes. We will continue to work closely with our building management team and equip them with better technical and product knowledge to enhance energy efficiency," says Ms Wong.

"We are honoured to be one of the winners this year. We are fully committed to reducing energy consumption and ensuring a green, sustainable and energy efficient building."

The Treasury building houses several ministries and departments, namely: Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Trade and Industry; Ministry of Law; Public Service Division; Department of Statistics; Accountant-General's Department; Strategy Group, Prime Minister's Office; and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, Prime Minister's Office.

The building commenced operations in 1997. MOF's efforts and the building occupants' participation in energy saving programmes has resulted in a 28 per cent reduction in the building's electricity consumption since 2002. This was achieved despite an increase in the number of occupants over the years.

Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.