Financial discipline in capital expenditure

The Public Utilities Board is installing 300,000 smart meters in residential and commercial premises during the initial phase which will be operational in 2023.

These smart meters are likely to replace the manual reading of the meters which is now carried out every two months.

Can the PUB share the estimated cost of this installation and the annual savings from the reduced manpower needed to read the meters? Every major capital expenditure should include a calculation of the payback period to see if the investment should be made.

I hope that our government agencies exercise this discipline in making capital expenditure, as ultimately the cost is borne by the citizens through taxes and user charges.

I am aware that there is a side benefit in allowing consumers to monitor the water usage frequently during the month. However, we should not exaggerate this benefit. Most consumers are already able to monitor the water usage in the monthly bills, if they wish to do so.

 

Tan Kin Lian

 

 

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8 Responses to “Financial discipline in capital expenditure”

  • LIONS:

    Sometimes,i wonder how to check the accuracy of the readings?

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  • William C:

    Meter buy from China, and market up using SGD. If 1 meter nett warning after tax, the company undertaking this project will get rich fast.

    Again tax payer money is used to upgrade the system.

    In China, the residents can report the readings using Wechat, internet or simply send a SMS. Why can’t we do the same? The meter reading record frequency can be changed from bimonthly to biyearly to avoid unnecessary cost.

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  • RDB:

    “pee a pee. pee liao nang main bee ang boh bee”.

    meaning point point there until rice urn no rice.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    @Mr. Tan; SG has a new Auditor General, so this is expected to be acceptable.

    I am sure the wife of a Minister, who is now the AG, is aware of this “.. that our government agencies exercise this discipline in making capital expenditure,…”.

    Next year AG’s reports, every agency will definitely sparkling clean. No more report of things like $800,000 bin center and un-known spending of PA.

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  • Waste of money again.:

    This is likely done just for bragging rights.

    There are many (and increasing number) of elderly retired Singaporeans looking for extra income because Singapore is a very expensive place. Why not pay them to read water meters.

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  • MarBowling:

    NotMyProblem:
    April 22, 2019 at 7:31 pm (Quote)
    @Mr. Tan; SG has a new Auditor General, so this is expected to be acceptable.
    I am sure the wife of a Minister, who is now the AG, is aware of this “.. that our government agencies exercise this discipline in making capital expenditure,…”.
    Next year AG’s reports, every agency will definitely sparkling clean. No more report of things like $800,000 bin center and un-known spending of PA.

    Response: well said. Next year onwards, every ministry, stat board, Coverment agency will have a CLEAN AS BABY report. So the new AG who is Wifey of a Minister can sleep like a BABY all night LOONG, and may even MAKE a BABY given her relaxed mind and free and easy time as an AG! Joker Teo, what do you think?

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  • HarderTruths:

    Apart from getting rid of water-meter readers (creating unemployment if these are $G locals) these meters also record down details of usage by the owners.

    These smart meters will be used to increase utilities prices or taxes based on peak usage so you have no choice but to pay. The also monitor and record your personal daily habits.

    Just another way to snoop and poop on you.

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  • Asd:

    Doesn’t benefit the consumer…
    so why use tax $ or ask consumer to pay for it ?

    Water bill will go down ?

    Doing it for what sake ?
    First in world ???

    Or for which social enterprise to profit ?

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