Save Money by Saving the World

by Peter Goh, Melvin Chen and Rebekah Lin

Much has been said about ‘saving the world by going green’ and its multiple benefits. We have all been sufficiently educated throughout primary and secondary education, schools eager to share the benefits of how a healthy planet will truly bring about a better, more comfortable living environment for everyone.

The unfortunate truth is that as a young child of all but twelve years, this is a concept you remember but remain inactive about, well, for most part of your life. Earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters have done their part in shocking us out of oblivion. It brings it down to the basic concept of one’s ‘self’, what is in it for us? What is in it for the family unit?

Call us micro-managers but we have sat at our desks on umpteenth occasions pouring over literature on how to ‘save the world’ – our green ambition remains for the world at large, but we are determined to start with ourselves, with our homes, with very the basic things we have taken granted for all these years.

When was the last time you carefully considered your water consumption habits?

Living in a fast-paced society such as Singapore, it is hardly a priority to think about. How many of us have actually spared five minutes of our time to read about the 10-litre challenge introduced by PUB since 2006 to learn about saving water?

The challenge for homeowner going green in Singapore today is if you, as a homeowner who wishes to go green by implementing simple green solutions around your property, what will you do and what are the options available?

Being completely green (pun intended) at introducing green solutions for their homes, typical homeowners tend to approach government bodies like National Environment Agency (NEA) and PUB and for easy, generic first steps to take before taking it one notch up. The trouble here is that most do not have the time or energy to venture beyond this first step. Approaching these government bodies will educate you on what is already happening in Singapore – they also give you an overview on policies, schemes and incentives introduced to promote Singaporeans going green. This is however too macro and not specific enough to each homeowner’s needs.

There are some who would directly approach suppliers or retail outlets with green products and this in turn is too micro, as they might not understand how each product can benefit them specifically in relation to their household needs. Although this generally gives them a peace of mind in them making that first step towards going green, it also inevitably leads to them being charged a premium for a product they do not fully understand – hence the mindset that going green is an expensive undertaking.

Common myths are that green solutions are too expensive or are more suitable for industrial applications than home use. This cannot be further away from the truth.

Going green can be as simple as using properly sized energy-efficient appliances and not leaving your appliances switched on when not in use.


Yet, there are little to no disruption to your daily routines and lifestyle by choosing to do so. However, what does it mean by properly sized? Energy-efficient?

This is where Chloros Solutions comes in.

Chloros Solutions Pte Ltd is a start-up company incorporated in October 2010, founded and run by three local graduates. It serves as an one-stop hub for green technology consultancy and projects management, working primarily with private homeowners. The company received a grant from SPRING Singapore under the Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) in March 2011, enabling the company to kick-start its operation.

Offering five services, Eco & Energy Evaluation, Resource Management, Green Retrofitting, Waste Management and Development Consultancy, the company, through its people and service-oriented system, shows homeowners, both landed-property and apartment dwellers alike, how they can experience the benefits of going green by having an improved quality of life whilst saving 20% to 40% of their utilities bills every month. The company currently offers its five core services through two packages – ‘Go Green!’ and ‘Go Greener!’

A typical project begins with an Eco & Energy Evaluation, which determines the energy efficiency of the house through measuring resource consumption by appliances, heat-profile, solar orientation, insulation, physical condition and eco-impact of your home in relation to its surroundings. The evaluation itself is a simple walkabout around the house together with the consultants and the homeowner is only required to provide the hours of usage per appliance. The evaluation is crucial, as when it comes to green technologies for homeowners, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ type of solution. The main determinant here is lifestyle, which differs from family to family. Once completed, a detailed consumption breakdown report will be produced for the homeowner and high areas of consumption will be targeted for the next step in going green: Resource Management.

Homeowners are typically given two types of suggestions, lifestyle changes and appliance replacements. For lifestyle changes, the recommendations made are designed to have the least impact on the current lifestyle as much as possible to encourage adoption. Simple acts like switching off the main power supply when not in use can be easily completed without disrupting your current lifestyle. When it comes to recommendations for appliance replacements, a detailed environmental impact, payback period and cost-benefit analysis will be provided so that you can make the best and most informed choice along with your preferred brands.

An example of how a 4-room HDB flat can enjoy the benefits of a greener lifestyle.

A family of 4, living in a 4-room HDB flat, currently pays on average S$240 a month on their electrical bills, which translates to an annual bill of S$2,880. Through the Eco & Energy Evaluation, Chloros identified their resource consumption patterns and the consultants proposed three areas for energy-use improvement – air-conditioning, lighting and fridge along with simple lifestyle suggestions. All suggested replacements are properly justified with Return-On-Investment with a payback period of within three years. In this case, this family was able to potentially save up to S$121 per month, or 50% of their original bills!

Going green has never been simpler. If you have ever contemplated replacing your 10-year-old air-conditioner and fridge but never found a good enough reason to do so or just wish that your home can be that little greener, let Chloros show you why you should while allowing you to save money and save the world at the same time!

Coming from an engineer’s perspective, Melvin Chen believes a physical solution exists for every problem. The fundamental issue here is sustainability and to me, that is the challenge we face today.

Previously a photo-journalist, Rebekah Lin is a fan of all things green, creative and innovative. Currently working in finance, she also loves the idea of a good book and good food.

Peter Goh currently spearheads Business Development in Chloros Solution. He enjoys travelling, reading and taking long walks along nature trails.