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[2021 Edition] Complete Guide To Choosing The Best Open Electricity Market (OEM) Plan For Your Home

We explain exactly what the Open Electricity Market is, and how to choose the best plan from among the bewildering choices.


This article was first published on 1 October 2018 and updated to reflect the latest prices.

It has been 2 years since the Open Electricity Market (OEM) was launched nationwide, and until today, less than half of residential households have switched away from SP Group.

This means that these households have been paying the tariff rate over the past 2 years – and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable, since neither incentives, educational outreach, nor the lack of major issues for OEM customers have seemed to convince them to make the switch.

But for the rest of us, here is an overview of the choices available so you can make the best choice for your needs – whether that’s for your new home, or your existing OEM contract expiring and you’re wondering what available plans are right now.

Read Also: Open Electricity Market (OEM): Here Are 5 Things To Consider When Choosing The Right Electricity Retailer

5-Minute Explanation: How Electricity Is Produced And Sold In Singapore

In order to understand what an electricity retailer is, we first need to understand how electricity is produced and sold in Singapore. The Singapore energy market has always been an eco-system made up of multiple players.

Everything starts with the electricity produced by power plants, which are owned and operated by power generation companies. Every half an hour, these power generation companies bid for contracts to generate and sell specified quantities of power on the wholesale electricity market. Retailers, including SP Group, then buy electricity in bulk from the wholesale electricity market to supply to consumers.

The electricity generated is then transmitted from the power plants and distributed across the island on the national power grid, which is also operated by SP Group.

In other words, SP Group buys electricity in bulk from the power generation companies on behalf of Singapore households. The company is also responsible for the infrastructure for reliable power delivery island-wide and billing households for electricity consumed.

To ensure consumers are protected, prices that Singapore households pay is based on the tariff set by the Energy Market Authority (EMA), with the aim of being as low as possible while allowing SP Group to cover operational costs.

The tariff is revised every quarter and consists of two parts: 1) fuel cost and 2) non-fuel cost. The fuel component is based on natural gas prices in the preceding quarter, while the non-fuel component covers the cost of running the electrical infrastructure and support services like meter reading.

In effect, the tariff system insulates Singaporeans, to some extent, from the electricity production and purchase process, and from near-term price fluctuations due to the global oil market, since 95% of Singapore’s electricity supply is generated using imported natural gas.

Read Also: 5 Questions About The Open Electricity Market That You (And Your Parents) Probably Have

What Is The Open Electricity Market (OEM)?

The Open Electricity Market (OEM) is part of EMA’s effort to liberalise the electricity market, allowing residential households in Singapore to buy electricity from retailers other than SP Group.

Think of this as similar to how different telecommunication companies in Singapore such as SingTel, M1, Starhub and Circles.Life offer different price plans in order to attract different kinds of customers.

To be clear, SP Group continues to operate the national power grid, so you can be assured of the same reliable power that you come to expect living in a Singapore. For those who choose not to do anything, SP Power will continue to sell you electricity at the regulated tariff.

Here is the current list of electricity retailers that you’ll be able to buy their electricity from:

Best Electricity Supply

Diamond Electric

Geneco by Seraya Energy

iSwitch

Keppel Electric

Ohm Energy

PacificLight Energy

Sembcorp Power

Senoko Energy Supply

Sunseap Energy

Tuas Power Supply

Union Power

Benefits Of The Open Electricity Market

The opening up of the electricity market for Singapore households come with a number of benefits for Singapore residents.

# 1 More Choices For Electricity Plans

Compared to paying a fixed, quarterly tariff rate which is what SP Group offers, retailers allow you to choose from two types of electricity plans. Different plans give Singaporeans choices on how they wish to buy electricity and who they wish to buy it from. They have the potential of large cost savings for households who choose an appropriate plan based on their consumption habits.

# 2 Competition Leading To Innovation And Better Prices

Competition among retailers that essentially sell the same product (electricity) means that companies need to provide great service at great prices. Beyond price, retailers are also competing to value-add to their customers.

For example, some retailers are offering free months of electricity, referral cashback, and other promotional rewards.

As companies strive to differentiate themselves, we can look forward to even more offerings and perks, and to choose the one that makes the most financial sense for us.

Read Also: 3 Types of Insurance Every Homeowner Needs To Know About For Protecting Their Home

# 3 More Awareness Of Energy Consumption

The introduction of OEM and the large numbers of retailers and plans should make Singaporeans more aware of the electricity market in Singapore and to take stock of their own consumption patterns.

Being more conscious about when we use electricity, how much power our appliances are using, and areas of wastage will hopefully lead to more considered electricity use, saving both money and natural resources over time.

Overview Of Types Of Price Plans Offered By OEM Retailers

Before we compare the different standard price plans offered by each retailer, it’s important to first understand how each works. In general, retailers offer two types of plans: 1) Discount Off Regulated Tariff, 2) Fixed Price.

Here is how each type of electricity plan works.

1) Discount Off Regulated Tariff plans offer a discount off the prevailing regulated tariff price, which is revised every quarter.

Source: Energy Market Authority

2) Fixed Price plans mean you pay a fixed rate throughout the duration of your contract. While the rate is not subjected to quarterly fluctuations based on the tariff, it may be higher or lower than the tariff over time.

Source: Energy Market Authority

Peak and OffPeak plans were offered to Jurong residents, but has since been withdrawn when the OEM rolls out nationwide, due to the lack of interest among consumers. Retailers could still offer Peak and Off-Peak plans, but these will be classified as “Non-Standard” plans.

Under this scheme, you pay different prices for electricity usage depending on the time of day. If your household’s electricity usage is skewed towards mainly off-peak hours, Peak and Off-Peak plans could potentially result in the significant savings.

* All prices are accurate at the time of writing and might be subject to change. Please contact individual retailers for the most updated pricing.

 

Best Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plans Across OEM Retailers

As of 16 March 2021, there are 28 Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plans offered by the various retailers. Here are the various plans compared:

Retailer Name Of Plan Price Contract Duration
Best Electricity Supply BEST Home Saver Upfront 16% off regulated tariff 24 months
BEST Home Saver 12 months 21% off regulated tariff 12 months
BEST Home Saver 24 months 22% off regulated tariff 24 months
Diamond Electric FREEDOM (No Lock-In) 18% off regulated tariff 6 months
Sure Save Plus Rewards – RES 20% off regulated tariff 12 months
iSwitch iSwitch2Green DOT 20% off regulated tariff 24 months
Keppel Electric DOT3 19% off regulated tariff 24 months
DOT24 23% off regulated tariff 24 months
Ohm Energy Ohm Discount (6 Months) 20% off regulated tariff 6 months
Ohm Discount (12 Months) 19.5% off regulated tariff 12 months
PacificLight Energy Confirm Save 12m 25.1% off regulated tariff 12 months
Confirm Save 24m 23.6% off regulated tariff 24 months
Sembcorp Power 12M Discount Off Tariff Plan 25.1% off regulated tariff 12 months
24M Discount Off Tariff Plan 23.6% off regulated tariff 24 months
Senoko Energy LifeSave12 25% off regulated tariff 12 months
LifeSave24 23.6% off regulated tariff 24 months
Geneco by Seraya Energy Get It Less 24 23% off regulated tariff 24 months
Sunseap Energy SUNSEAP-ONE (1% Solar Energy) 6M 23% off regulated tariff 6 months
SUNSEAP-ONE (1% Solar Energy) 12M 23% off regulated tariff 12 months
SUNSEAP-ONE (1% Solar Energy) 24M 23.6% off regulated tariff 24 months
SUNSEAP-50 (50% Solar Energy) 15% off regulated tariff 24 months
SUNSEAP-100 (100% Solar Energy) 10% off regulated tariff 24 months
Tuas Power Supply PowerDO 6 18% off regulated tariff 6 months
PowerDO 12 Care 25.11% off regulated tariff 12 months
PowerDO 24 Care 23.61% off regulated tariff 24 months
PowerDO 24 22% off regulated tariff 24 months
Union Power Power Saver 12 25% off regulated tariff 12 months
Power Saver 24 23.6% off regulated tariff 24 months

 

 

For those who want a short contract (6 months), the SUNSEAP-ONE (1% Solar Energy) 6M gives the highest percentage discount of 23%.

Short contract durations can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, a shorter-term contract frees you up to choose another cheaper plan or even switch to another retailer after 6 months. On the flip side, the discount being offered may not be the same by the time you need to re-contract.

For a 12-months contract, PacificLight’s Confirm Save 12 and Sembcorp Power’s Discount Off Tariff Plan give the highest discounts of 25.1%.

Finally, those who prefer longer-term certainty (24 months), Tuas Power’s PowerDO 24 Care gives the highest discount off tariff of $23.61%.

 

Best Fixed Price Plans Across OEM Retailers

As of 16 March 2021, there are 32 Fixed Price plans available, which you can compare below:

Retailer Name Of Plan Price Contract Duration
Best Electricity Supply BEST Home Fixed 6 months 19.80 cents/kWh 6 months
BEST Home Fixed 12 months 19.88 cents/kWh 12 months
BEST Home Fixed 24 months 19.98 cents/kWh 24 months
Diamond Electric Fixed 6 Green – RES 16.98 cents/kWh 6 months
Keppel Electric FIXED12 17.45 cents/kWh 12 months
FIXED24 17.69 cents/kWh 24 months
Ohm Energy Fixed Ohm (6 Months) 19.80 cents/kWh 6 months
Fixed Ohm (12 Months) 20.00 cents/kWh 12 months
Fixed Ohm (24 Months) 20.40 cents/kWh 24 months
PacificLight Energy Savvy Saver 12 19.98 cents/kWh 12 months
Sunny Side-Up 12m (Green Plan) 19.98 cents/kWh 12 months
Savvy Saver 24 18.38 cents/kWh 24 months
Sembcorp Power Fixed Price Plan 16.99 cents/kWh 12 months
Fixed Price Plan 17.63 cents/kWh 24 months
Senoko Energy LifePower12 17.18 cents/kWh 12 months
LifePower24 17.98 cents/kWh 24 months
LifeSmart24 18.35 cents/kWh 24 months
Geneco by Seraya Energy Give Us A Try 16.72 cents/kWh 6 months
Get It Fixed 24 17.98 cents/kWh 24 months
Get It Green (100% Carbon Neutral) 17.45 cents/kWh 12 months
Sunseap Energy SUNSEAP-ONE (1% Solar Energy) 6M 17.00 cents/kWh 6 months
SUNSEAP-ONE (1% Solar Energy) 12M 17.17 cents/kWh 12 months
SUNSEAP-ONE (1% Solar Energy) 24M 17.60 cents/kWh 24 months
SUNSEAP-50 (50% Solar Energy) 19.80 cents/kWh 24 months
SUNSEAP-100 (100% Solar Energy) 20.87 cents/kWh 24 months
Tuas Power Supply PowerFIX 6 Care 16.71 cents/kWh 6 months
PowerFIX 12 Care 17.17 cents/kWh 12 months
PowerFIX 24 Care 17.98 cents/kWh 24 months
Union Power Union Saver 6 16.75 cents/kWh 6 months
Union Saver 12 16.90 cents/kWh 12 months
Union Saver 24 17.60 cents/kWh 24 months

 

The cheapest rate for a 6-month contact is 16.71 cents/kWh, offered by Tuas Power Supply’s PowerFIX 6 Care.

The best rate for the mid-term (12-months) is 16.90 cents/kWh, from Union Power’s Union Saver 12.

And if you prefer to lock in the fixed rate for the long-term, consider SUNSEAP-ONE (1% Solar Energy) 24M or Union Power’s Union Saver 24, which both give the best deal at 17.60 cents/kWh for a 24-month contract.

 

Choosing The Best OEM Retailer And Plan For Your Household

Now that you understand how the various plans work, you might wonder which one suits you best. Here are four steps you can take to answer that question.

Step 1: Examine Your Household Electricity Bill

The first thing you can do is to gather your past electricity bills. Since electricity consumption is generally cyclical, doing so will help you have a more accurate picture of your consumption patterns.

When going through your household electricity bills, note the highest electricity usage in a month, and then calculate the average monthly electricity consumed.

You can use the following table to help with log your results.


Month

Electricity Consumed
(kWh)

Electricity Bill ($)
November 2019
December 2019
January 2020
February 2020
March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
September 2020
October 2020

12-month Average:

Step 2: Calculate Expected Costs

To help you along, you can also refer to information on historical tariff rates and compare against the rates on offer.

Source: SP Group

The Current Regulated Tariff is 22.93 cents/kWh with GST (effective from 1 October to 31 December 2020)

  • Highest tariff in past 24 months: 25.94 cents/kWh (with GST)
  • Lowest tariff in past 24 months: 20.97 cents/kWh (with GST)
  • Average tariff in past 24 months: 24.42 cents/kWh (with GST)

Take your average monthly electricity consumption (derived in Step 1) and multiply that with rates given by the Fixed Price plan that you are considering. This is how much you can expect to pay when you’re on a Fixed Price plan.

Expected Fixed Rate Bill = Electricity Consumed x Fixed Rate Cost (per kWh)

Adding a column to your original table, you can see if you will be making savings (and by how much).


Month

Electricity Consumed
(kWh)

Electricity Bill ($)

Expected Fixed Rate Bill
November 2019
December 2019
January 2020
February 2020
March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
September 2020
October 2020

12-month Average:

To know how much you’ll be paying if you are on a Discount Off Regulated Tariff plan, look at what you are currently paying for your electricity (which is at the regulated tariff) and factor in the discount percentage given in the plan.

Expected Discount Off Tariff Bill = Electricity Bill – (Electricity Bill x Discount Off Tariff Percentage)


Month

Electricity Consumed
(kWh)

Electricity Bill ($)

Expected Discount Off
Tariff Bill
November 2019
December 2019
January 2020
February 2020
March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
September 2020
October 2020

12-month Average:

Adding a column to your original table, you can see how much savings in dollar terms you would have made.

Using the results of both Fixed Price and Discount Off Regulated Tariff tables, you can see which type of plan will result in the greatest savings for your household.

If you’re worried about making the “wrong” decision, then the simple sure-win proposition is to go for a Discount Off Regulated Tariff plan. By switching to a retailer with such a plan, you will enjoy immediate savings compared to sticking with SP Group.

Step 3: Read The Fine Print

After you identified what seems like the best plan for you, you can visit the retailer’s website and download the Fact Sheet for the plan (or plans) that you have in mind. This Fact Sheet will summarise the key contractual terms and conditions of the price plan, such as contract duration, payment terms, security deposit, early termination charges and auto-renewal clauses.

Another document to look out for is the Consumer Advisory which outlines the important things that you should be aware of before signing up with a retailer. Retailers are required to obtain your acknowledgement before contracting you as their customer. For most of the plans, there is usually a security deposit required, and there are early termination and late payment fees you need to be aware of.

As with all contracts, read the fine print carefully and ask the retailer to explain any of the terms and conditions that you are unsure of.

Step 4: Look For Discounts And Promotions

In a bid to attract new customers, retailers have been offering referral discounts and other perks. Some of these are limited-time or limited-quantity offers, and they should not be the driving factor for deciding to sign with a particular retailer.

Ultimately, choosing your electricity retailer and plan is an important decision that you should make based on your needs, and not merely the free gifts on offer.

Read Also: Biggest Reasons Why Singaporeans Haven’t Switched To An Open Electricity Market (OEM) Retailer – And Why They Really Should

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