Household Income Affects How Individuals Cool Down in Singapore’s Heat

24 December, 2018

“Wiping Sweat” from SRN’s SG Photobank

Those living in Singapore are familiar with the heat, but research shows that the way individuals tackle the sweltering weather differs based on their household income. Associate Professor Alberto Salvo from the NUS Department of Economics conducted a study on the consumption of water and electricity of 130,000 households living in apartments in Singapore. The study was conducted from September 2012 to December 2015, revealing that lower-income households are more likely to use more water when the weather is hot. In comparison, higher-income households consume more electricity to cool down.

The study also found that higher-income households tend to live in five- or six-room apartments where air-conditioning is is prevalent. On the other hand, less than a fifth of the two-room apartments surveyed had air-conditioning. A/P Salvo feels that the study, which has been published in the journal Nature Communications, is potentially useful towards improving management of water and electricity consumption. Furthermore, A/P Salvo will also conduct studies to see if his findings are applicable to other cities like Mumbai and Jakarta, where climate and economic development differ from Singapore.

Read the article here.