Efficiency key to a leaner, greener S’pore

Dear Mr Iswaran,

I refer to your comments as reported by Straits Times on 5 Feb 2010.

You said that installing smart meters in homes will allow consumers to tune their usage of electrical appliances according to price signals. I am not sure that is such a smart move. Will higher electricity prices at peak hours dissuade households from watching prime time television and turn to watching television at four o’clock in the morning instead when electricity prices are cheaper? Will cheaper electricity encourage students to wake up at 3 am in the morning to study? Let us not be ridiculous, the money spent on smart meters can be better spent elsewhere.

What could be done is solar panel installation on the roof tops of all HDB flats. The initial cost may be high but this can be brought down with the use of light collecting dishes to funnel and concentrate sunlight onto a smaller piece of solar panel. This can be combined with heliostats to allow the solar dish collectors to maintain high sunlight intensities throughout the day.

Another possibility would be to provide legislature allowing individuals to install solar panels in their homes and to sell surplus electricity generated back to the grid. By harnessing the collective buying powers of the entire nation, more solar panels can be installed. The solar panels need not be a permanent fixture. Many, small strips of solar panels can be incorporated into blinds so that when people go to work, they can draw down the blinds to generate electricity. When they come back home from work, they can draw up the blinds to enjoy their window scenery. The government can facilitate the coming together of major blind manufacturers and solar panel suppliers to make this come true.

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