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Water-saving shower devices to be installed in 10,000 homes

These new devices could reduce your utilities bill.

PHOTO: PIXABAY

National water agency Public Utilities Board (PUB) announced on Monday (Oct 9) that it will be working with two companies – Amphiro AG and Smart and Blue – to supply 10,000 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats with water-saving showers.

The initiative, titled the Smart Shower Programme, is launched with the intention of helping homes save on their utilities bill.

The devices can track water usage in real time and allow families to adjust their consumption habits accordingly.

“Such behavioural nudges could potentially change users’ habits and bring about reduction.”

– PUB

However, both Amphiro AG and Smart and Blue’s water tracking methods are slightly different.

In their respective proposals, Amphiro AG, a swiss-based company, opted to display numerical figures on their devices to illustrate the exact amount of water consumption while French company Smart and Blue’s pitch involved colour codes at the shower head (darker colours will signify that more water is being used, and vice versa).

According to the PUB, these companies were chosen as they “stood out for their track records and proposed device model”.

Besides the aforementioned features, PUB is also looking into more advanced solutions such as the incorporation of smart phones and other relevant devices. This includes allowing users to download data into said devices for on the go tracking of water usage.

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According to a National University of Singapore (NUS) study, water-saving devices such as the shower heads proposed by Amphiro AG and Smart and Blue can help households reduce their water usage by 5 liters; this could help families save at least 3 per cent on their monthly water bill.

Solutions to combat the water price hike?

Earlier this year on February 2017, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced at the annual Singapore Budget 2017 that water prices will go up by around 30 per cent.

The hike will occur in two phases. The first will take place in July 1 of this year and the second will take effect from July 1 of next year.

The main reasonings of the hike mainly fell under two points: one, that Singaporeans were using too much water and that we do not have a steady supply (Singapore does not only rely on its own water resources but instead buys water from neighbouring countries such as Malaysia) and two, that the last increase in water prices was twenty years ago.

“Water prices were last revised in 2000, almost 20 years ago. We need to update our water prices to reflect the latest costs of water supply.”

– Finance Minister, Heng Swee Keat

For businesses using Newater – which according to Minister Heng is a “costly but necessary” investment – they will see an added 10 per cent water conservation tax on their monthly bill.

While the government offered condolences in the form of rebates to help lower and middle income households shoulder the costs, the price hike was met with a large wave of discontent, with many lamenting that the 30 per cent increase was too much and too sudden.

It is therefore, perhaps, a small form of solace that rebates and water-saving devices are now being incorporated for the sake of easing the pockets of everyday Singaporeans.

And as an added incentive, we’ve added this comprehensive listicle that offers several other water-saving hacks for those looking to save a penny or two on that pesky utilities bill.

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