2020 Guide to Singapore Government Funding and Incentives for the Environment

2020 Guide to Singapore Government Funding and Incentives for the Environment

Singapore is committed to develop a sustainable and liveable city, and is already known internationally as a city in a garden. To further improve our sustainability, the government has started several funding and incentive schemes related to energy efficiency, environmental initiatives, food production, green buildings, sustainable finance, sustainable transport, urban solutions, waste management, water technology, and workforce and business development.

Here is a list of 30 government funding and incentives for the environment to help businesses understand and navigate the various resources available:

Energy Efficiency

  • Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F)
  • Energy Efficiency Financing Programme
  • Singapore Certified Energy Manager (SCEM) Training Grant
  • Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy

Environmental Initiatives

  • 3P Partnership Fund
  • Call for Ideas Fund (CIF)

Food Production

  • Agriculture Productivity Fund (APF)
  • Singapore Food Story R&D Grant Call

Green Buildings

  • Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) Scheme
  • Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC) Building Energy Efficient Demonstrations Scheme (GBIC-Demo)
  • Built Environment Accelerate to Market Programme (BEAMP)
  • Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme (SGIS)
  • Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-Rises (LUSH)
  • Quieter Construction Innovation Fund

Sustainable Finance

  • Sustainable Bond Grant Scheme

Sustainable Transport

  • Land Transport Innovation Fund (LTIF)
  • Active Commute Grant (ACG)
  • Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES)
  • Green Port Programme (GPP)

Urban Solutions

  • Cities of Tomorrow R&D Programme (CoT)
  • Cool Ideas Enterprise

Waste Management

  • 3R Fund
  • Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Test-bedding and Demonstration Funding Initiative
  • Closing the Waste Loop initiative

Water Technology

  • Living Lab (Water)
  • Competitive Research Programme (Water)
  • Industrial Water Solutions Demonstration Fund (IWSDF)

Workforce and Business Development

  • Productivity Solutions Grant (SkillsFuture Training Subsidy)
  • Professional Conversion Programmes
  • Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)

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Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F)

The Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F) by NEA provides funding for businesses to improve the energy efficiency of industrial facilities, including for resource efficient design of new facilities and major expansions; energy assessment of existing facilities; adoption of energy efficient equipment technologies; and implementation of an Energy Management Information System. Funding is provided up to 50% of the qualifying costs (with other criteria on funding cap and qualifying period).

Energy Efficiency Financing Programme

EDB selected a third-party financier, Sustainable Development Capital (Asia) Limited (SDCL Asia), to pilot the Energy Efficiency Financing Programme, which provides companies with up to 100% upfront capital investment to implement energy efficiency projects, and the energy savings are shared between the stakeholders. The projects must involve installation and use of energy efficient equipment or technologies with a proven track record of energy savings in an industrial facility, and must result in measurable and verifiable energy savings.

Singapore Certified Energy Manager (SCEM) Training Grant

The Singapore Certified Energy Manager (SCEM) programme is designed for engineering professionals who intend to build their career as energy managers. The SCEM Training Grant is a co-funding scheme by e2i and is targeted at engineers or managers who manage manufacturing facilities and buildings and provide energy services or engineering consulting services. The Training Grant co-funds part of the SCEM training cost (inclusive of one exam fee per module) at the Professional Level. In addition to the Training Grant, the SCEM Programme is supported by Singapore Workforce Development Agency’s Absentee Payroll funding. Applicant companies can apply for the funding in the SkillsConnect system.

Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy

The Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy by EDB supports industrial facilities to become more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions. All Singapore-registered owners or operators of existing or proposed industrial facility are eligible for the grant, and proposed energy efficiency projects must achieve at least 0.5ktpa of carbon abatement that is measurable and verifiable by the end of the project. The amount of grant support will correspond to the amount of carbon abated, subject to a cap of 50% of the qualifying costs.

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Environmental Initiatives

3P Partnership Fund

The 3P Partnership Fund by NEA aims to encourage organisations and companies from the People, Private and Public (3P) sectors to work together to develop innovative and sustainable environmental initiatives that promote environmental ownership amongst the local community. A Singapore-registered organisation or company can apply for the funding and must involve at least one other partner from the 3P sectors. The 3P Partnership Fund works on a co-payment basis and first time application would receive no more than 60% of the supportable cost items.

Call for Ideas Fund (CIF)

The Call for Ideas Fund (CIF) by NEA provides co-funding for projects that seek to resolve environmental challenges and problems in the local community, and the development of mobile applications to enable open and easy access to environmental information so that the public can make informed choices and decisions in their daily lives. Funding support is up to a maximum of $20,000 or 80% of the total project cost for supportable cost items (whichever is lower).

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Food Production

Agriculture Productivity Fund (APF)

The Agriculture Productivity Fund (APF) by SFA support local farmers in their efforts to expand production capability, boost yield and raise productivity. Under the APF, the Basic Capability Upgrading Scheme supports the purchase of equipment that would help increase the farm’s productivity such as increase in production, manpower savings and resource savings. Under the APF, the Productivity Enhancement Scheme supports the adoption of automated, advanced and integrated farming systems. Funding support is subjected to the type of scheme and food category.

Singapore Food Story R&D Grant Call

The Singapore Food Story R&D Grant Call by SFA and A*STAR supports the national agenda of strengthening Singapore’s food security and achieving the national goal of “30 by 30”. The research themes include: Sustainable Urban Food Production to increase the productivity of local food producers beyond what is achievable by current best-in-class technologies; and Future Foods: Alternative Proteins to seek alternative and more sustainable methods to produce protein-rich foods and beverages. All Singapore-based institutions of higher learning, public sector agencies and not-for profit research laboratories as well as companies and company-affiliated research laboratories/institutions are eligible to apply. The funding support is subjected to the themes and scope.

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Green Buildings

Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) Scheme

The Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) Scheme, facilitated by BCA and participating financial institutions, offer financing to pay the upfront costs of energy retrofits of existing buildings, through an energy performance contract arrangement. BREEF can cover the cost of equipment, installation and professional fees. The maximum loan quantum is up to $4 million or 90% of costs, whichever is lower. The maximum loan tenure is 5 years and the interest rate is determined by the financial institution.

Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC) Building Energy Efficient Demonstrations Scheme (GBIC-Demo)

The Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC) Building Energy Efficient Demonstrations Scheme (GBIC-Demo) provides building owners and developers the opportunity to strive for greater energy savings by demonstrating innovative energy efficient technologies that have not been widely implemented locally in upcoming projects or existing buildings. Funding support is up to 70% qualifying cost or $3million per project demonstration (whichever is lower).

Built Environment Accelerate to Market Programme (BEAMP)

The Built Environment Accelerate to Market Programme (BEAMP) was set up by BCA, JTC and Enterprise Singapore to bring inventors and companies together to fast-track the innovation process to solve built environment industry challenges. Enterprise Singapore offers grant funding support of up to 70% of the qualifying project cost for local SMEs and up to 50% for local non-SMEs (subject to funding cap).

Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme (SGIS)

The Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme (SGIS) by NParks facilitates the development of a more lush and pervasive greenery in our built environment by encouraging more intensive forms of landscaping on built structures. The funding support is up to 50% of the installation costs of rooftop greenery and vertical greenery (subject to cap of cost per square metre).

Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-Rises (LUSH)

The Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-Rises (LUSH) programme by URA is a comprehensive urban and skyrise greening programme comprising both Landscape Replacement Areas requirements and incentives to further strengthen efforts in greening the city and to encourage more pervasive greenery within our high-rise urban environment. The programme encourages building owners and developers to provide well-planted and designed communal green spaces at both the ground and upper levels of buildings, such as sky terraces and roof gardens. URA may grant additional GFA exemption for selected spaces.

Quieter Construction Innovation Fund

The Quieter Construction Innovation Fund by NEA is an incentive scheme to promote wider adoption of quieter construction equipment and innovative methods, in order to mitigate construction noise impact to the public. Application is open from 1 Apr 2019 to 31 Mar 2021, and is for Singapore-registered company which is operating at an existing or proposed construction or demolition site, or supplying construction equipment. The funding support varies according to the types of equipment and their performance requirement.

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Sustainable Finance

Sustainable Bond Grant Scheme

The Sustainable Bond Grant Scheme by MAS encourages the issuance of green, social and sustainability bonds in Singapore and is open to first-time and repeat issuers. The qualifying issuance must be a minimum size of $200 million or a bond programme size of at least $200 million with an initial issuance of at least $20 million, and a minimum tenure of 1 year. The grant supports costs incurred in respect of the independent external review or rating done based on any internationally-recognised green, social, and sustainability bond principles or framework.

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Sustainable Transport

Land Transport Innovation Fund (LTIF)

The Land Transport Innovation Fund (LTIF) by LTA provides funding support for conceptual-stage research and pilot trials, and facilitates innovation and technological advances in Singapore’s land transportation arena. The fund brings together the best ideas to meet the vision of building an efficient, sustainable and people-centred land transport system. Applications must be from Singapore-registered companies, tertiary institutions and research institutions. The length of the trial period of the proposed project is capped at a maximum of one year. The LTIF will fund up to a maximum of 90% of the costs per project.

Active Commute Grant (ACG)

The Active Commute Grant (ACG) by LTA supports the aim to make walking, cycling and riding public transport a way of life and a means of enhancing liveability in Singapore. To improve the cycling commute, adequate End-of-Trip (EOT) facilities such as showers, lockers and drying stations at destinations are important to provide a comfortable and convenient journey to work. The ACG provides support and encouragement for developers and building owners who wish to provide EOT facilities in their developments, and funding support is up to 80% of the construction costs of EOT facilities in offices, business parks and light/general industrial developments, up to a maximum of $80,000 per development.

Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES)

The Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) by LTA is the latest scheme introduced for cars and taxis registered from 1 Jan 2018 onwards. From 1 Jul 2018 to 31 Dec 2020, VES is based on a car or taxi’s carbon dioxide emissions, plus emissions of these 4 pollutants: Hydrocarbons, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides, and Particulate Matter. The worst performing pollutant determines the vehicle’s band and its corresponding VES rebate or surcharge. Under the VES, a car or taxi registered under bands A1 and A2 will qualify for an emission rebate which will be used to offset the car or taxi’s Additional Registration Fee.

Green Port Programme (GPP)

The Green Port Programme (GPP) by MPA is a programme under Maritime Singapore Green Initiative to encourage environmental sustainability amongst ocean-going vessels calling at the Port of Singapore. Under the programme, 25% reduction in port dues will be granted to ocean-going vessels that use LNG as a marine fuel in the Port of Singapore, or exceed current IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index requirements.

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Urban Solutions

Cities of Tomorrow R&D Programme (CoT)

The Cities of Tomorrow R&D Programme (CoT) is a multi-agency effort, led by MND, to establish Singapore as a highly liveable, sustainable, and resilient city of the future, and as a vibrant urban solutions hub. This will be achieved through the integrated development of R&D in 4 key verticals: Advanced Construction, Resilient Infrastructure, New Spaces, and Greater Sustainability, and supported by 2 enabling horizontals of Urban Environment Analytics and Complexity Science for Urban Solutions. The CoT will support R&D across the value chain from upstream research to downstream technology deployment and adoption, with emphasis on projects that have a high potential for practical implementation and commercialisation. A total of $150 million has been aside to fund CoT, which is part of the Urban Solutions and Sustainability (USS) domain under the National Research Foundation (NRF).

Cool Ideas Enterprise

Cool Ideas Enterprise by HDB is an open innovation platform for innovators to co-develop solutions that improve the living environment and residents’ quality of life. Proposals should address any of the 5 domains: Energy, Urban Greenery, Living Environment, Waste and Water, and Building Technology. Funding support is provided up to 70% of the development cost.

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Waste Management

3R Fund

The 3R Fund by NEA is a co-funding scheme to encourage organisations to reduce waste disposed of at NEA’s incineration plants and disposal facilities through the implementation of waste minimisation and recycling projects. Any organisation in Singapore, including companies, non-government organisations, town councils, schools, institutions and managing bodies such as MCSTs can apply for the 3R Fund. Projects must result in an increase in the quantity of solid waste recycled or a reduction in the quantity of solid waste generated. The minimum tonnage eligibility is 100 tonnes reduced, reused or recycled over the whole project duration. Funding support is up to 80% of qualifying costs, subject to a cap of $1 million per project or per applicant.

Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Test-bedding and Demonstration Funding Initiative

The Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Test-bedding and Demonstration Funding Initiative by NEA aims to incentivise industry and Institutes of Higher Learning to collaborate and translate their R&D outcomes into pilot scale or demonstration projects. Applicants may select any suitable premises to test-bed or demonstrate their WTE technologies, and encourages applicants to tap on the plug-and-play features of the recently completed NTU WTE Research Facility. Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), public sector agencies and not-for-profit research entities may qualify for funding support of up to 100% of the approved qualifying direct costs (QDC), plus 20% of QDC for overheads; and Singapore-registered companies and for-profit research entities may qualify for funding support of up to 70% of QDC only, without provision for funding overheads.

Closing the Waste Loop initiative

The Closing the Waste Loop initiative is an R&D programme by NEA to encourage collaborations with institutes of higher learning, research institutes and private sector partners, to develop technologies and solutions to tackle challenges posed by increasing waste generation, scarcity of resources and land constraints for waste management. The initiative focuses on resource and value recovery from key waste streams; diversion of ash and residues to conserve landfill space; environmental remediation of closed dumping ground and landfill; and data and analytic driven waste management solutions.

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Water Technology

Living Lab (Water)

The Living Lab (Water) is a scheme by PUB which ​aims to accelerate the commercialisation of new promising water technologies by incentivising their early adoption locally. Singapore-registered businesses and organisations, in the public or private sector, can apply for the grant. ​Grants are provided to support costs arising from the projects such as manpower, training, equipment investment and professional services costs.

Competitive Research Programme (Water)

The Competitive Research Programme (Water) is a funding scheme by PUB which aims to fund basic and applied R&D projects that possess potential in developing innovative and novel solutions for the water industry. PUB would launch Request-for-Proposals (RFPs) in specific areas and/or in the open category. All Singapore-based companies, tertiary education institutions, research institutes and public agencies are eligible for this funding. Grants are provided to support costs arising from the projects such as manpower, equipment investment, trainings and conferences.​

Industrial Water Solutions Demonstration Fund (IWSDF)

The Industrial Water Solutions Demonstration Fund (IWSDF) by PUB provides funding support for high-impact and innovative projects to treat and reclaim fresh water from industrial used water for process reuse. Companies with monthly water consumption of more than 10,000 m3 are invited to submit proposals for projects that yield at least 5% reduction in water consumption through reuse.

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Workforce and Business Development

Productivity Solutions Grant (SkillsFuture Training Subsidy)

The Productivity Solutions Grant (SkillsFuture Training Subsidy) by SkillsFuture Singapore helps companies to train and build a pool of skilled employees in areas that will help enhance business competitiveness. Approved courses are available for energy, environmental services and building sectors. The grant covers 70% of out-of-pocket training expenses incurred by companies, and is capped at $10,000 per company.

Professional Conversion Programmes

Professional Conversion Programmes by Workforce Singapore are career conversion programmes targeted at Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs), including mid-career switchers, to undergo skills conversion and move into new occupations or sectors that have good prospects and opportunities for progression. Sectors include waste management, and water and wastewater management. Salary support is provided up to 70% or 90% of monthly salary, and/or course fee subsidy of up to 70% or 90% of course fees (subjected to type of programme).

Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)

The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) by Enterprise Singapore helps Singapore companies upgrade their business, adopt technology and innovative processes, and grow their overseas presence, under three pillars: Core Capabilities, Innovation and Productivity, and Market Access. The grant scope incudes automation, process redesign, product development, pilot project and test-bedding, and standards adoption. Funding support is provided up to 70% of qualifying project costs.

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