Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Lighting in Buildings and Public Areas
Dr Lim Wee Kiak: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether the Ministry will consider reducing the amount of lights emitted by public and commercial buildings at night; and (b) whether there are plans to gradually replace the lights in the public areas with ambient light sensors to reduce unnecessary energy consumption.
1 Lighting accounts for about 15 per cent of the energy consumption of the built environment. The energy efficiency of lighting products is currently regulated through the National Environment Agency's Mandatory Energy Labelling Scheme (MELS) and the Mandatory Energy Performance Standards (MEPS). MELS enables consumers to make an informed decision on the purchase of lighting products based on energy efficiency considerations, while MEPS raises the average energy efficiency of lighting products by removing the least energy efficient models from the market. Through the public sector's green procurement policy, most public sector buildings have already switched to energy-efficient lighting solutions.
2 Lighting is important in public areas like HDB estates and parks, for reasons of public safety. To provide good visibility when needed, smart lighting solutions have been progressively adopted. These can automatically adjust to ambient lighting and detected motion in the area, and have been implemented in all new public housing developments since 2018. HDB is also working with Town Councils to extend smart lighting to existing public housing estates under HDB's Green Towns Programme.
3 Building owners and facility managers are encouraged to adopt smart lighting solutions that dim or turn off the lights when no one is present. BCA's Green Mark Scheme promotes the use of smart lighting and other smart facilities management solutions to optimise energy performance. Nevertheless, we cannot rely solely on technology. Everyone plays an important role in conserving energy, by switching off the lights when they are not needed, at the workplace and at home.