Have you noticed an excessively cold environment when strolling in a shopping mall or a theatre? You may be among many Singaporeans who feel the same.
A survey of more than 420 people revealed that most Singaporeans believes that public facilities use too much air conditioning to cool indoor spaces, even when the weather is favourable.
Building operators in the city-state should consider fine-tuning the cooling settings of facilities to save money and conserve energy. This will be important, as air conditioners are expected to account for as much as 40 per cent of energy consumption by 2040 in Southeast Asia, up from the current 25 per cent. If the current trend of air conditioning continues, Singapore may be forced to implement a carbon tax that is similar to the government’s plan by 2020.
On the other hand, REHAU South East Asia notes that property developers should also consider sustainable materials, such as unplasticized polyvinyl chloride (uPVC). Window manufacturers, for instance, offer this as a viable alternative to reduce air conditioning costs.
Southeast Asian countries would need 2,000 terawatt hours of electricity in the next 10 years or so, which is why finding ways to save energy as early as now will be beneficial for natural resources. If the region switches to sustainable heating, ventilation and air-conditioning products, it may lead to $12 billion of annual savings and reduce power consumption by 100 terawatt hours.
The energy saved would be equal to the yearly production of 50 power plants; therefore, more resources would be conserved as these power generators do not have to be commissioned more than necessary.
Building operators are responsible for maintaining the correct level of air conditioning settings at public facilities, but homeowners can also do their part by being more conscious of how they consume electricity at home.