Ms Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) how does extreme weather conditions affect outdoor electrical installations; (b) whether there is a requirement for a minimum frequency of checks on electrical installations that applies to all town councils and LTA; (c) if so, whether this frequency will be increased; and (d) whether there are plans to deploy artificial intelligence technology to support this increase.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Gan Kim Yong
1. Weather conditions such as direct sunlight and heavy rain may accelerate the deterioration of electrical equipment. To address these risks, the Energy Market Authority of Singapore (EMA) regulates electrical installations in Singapore via the Electricity (Electrical Installations) Regulations. Under these regulations, both indoor and outdoor electrical installations must meet the technical requirements specified in Singapore’s Code of Practice for electrical installations (known as SS638:2018). These include minimum protection standards for electrical installations against direct sunlight and rain water, so that they can operate safely in a range of local weather conditions.
2. EMA requires electrical installations to be inspected and certified fit for operation by a licensed electrical worker (LEW) at least once a year, with electrical installations in higher-risk settings or premises subject to more regular inspection and certification. For example, electrical installations at construction sites must be inspected monthly, while those in HDB estates and public areas must be inspected at least once every six months. These requirements can be found at the following website: https://www.ema.gov.sg/cmsmedia/Handbook/Handbook_for_Application_of_Electrical_Installation_Licence.pdf.
3. EMA will review the frequency of inspections from time to time as needed, depending on various factors such as industry feedback on changes in safety risk of the electrical installations. EMA is also actively exploring ways to leverage technology to enhance the safety and reliability of the electricity system, including monitoring the real-time operating conditions of the electricity grid. EMA will study the suitability of deploying new technologies, including artificial intelligence, when they become available and feasible for deployment.