Since the launch of the Open Electricity Market (OEM) in 2018, about half of Singaporean households have switched to electricity retailers.
For the half who have not, 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 has seemed to convince them to make the switch. However, with electricity prices expected to increase due to the doubling of fuel prices, there may be an additional incentive to switch now.
For those of us considering switching or renewing our plans, 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 the available plans are right now.
In 2021, two retailers have exited the market, namely, iSwitch Energy and Ohm Energy. Best Electricity Supply and Diamond Electric have also stopped accepting new customers. Most of the other retailers have also since cut down their product offerings significantly.
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 ecosystem 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.
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 – reportedly stopped accepting new customers
- Diamond Electric – reportedly stopped accepting new customers
- Geneco by Seraya Energy
- iSwitch – Operations have ceased since 11 November 2021
- Keppel Electric
- Ohm Energy – Exited on 15 October 2021. Operations will continue until the transfer of customers
- 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.
# 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 Off–Peak plans were offered to Jurong residents but have 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 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 5 April 2022, there is only a single Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plan that is offered by one retailer:
|Retailer||Name Of Plan||Price||Contract Duration|
|Senoko Energy||LifeSave12 (3% Green Energy)||6% off regulated tariff||12 months|
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 12 months. On the flip side, the discount being offered may not be the same by the time you need to re-contract. Shorter 6-month contracts were used to be offered, but are no longer available in the Discount off Regulated Tariff category this quarter.
For those who wish to have a quarterly review of their tariff rates, they can consider signing up for the discount off regulated tariff plans. Currently, Senoko Energy – LifeSave12 allows you to save 6% off the regulated price.
Best Fixed Price Plans Across OEM Retailers
As of 5 April 2022, these are the Fixed Price plans available, which you can compare below:
|Retailer||Name Of Plan||Price||Contract Duration|
|Keppel Electric||FIXED12||26.88 cents/kWh||12 months|
|FIXED24||26.88 cents/kWh||24 months|
|PacificLight Energy||Sunny Side-Up 12m (Green Plan)||27.11 cents/kWh||12 months|
|Savvy Saver 12||27.11 cents/kWh||12 months|
|Savvy Saver 24||26.81 cents/kWh||24 months|
|Sembcorp Power||12M Fixed Price Home||29.88 cents/kWh||12 months|
|Senoko Energy||LifePower12 (3% Green Energy)||27.00 cents/kWh||12 months|
|LifePower24 (3% Green Energy)||26.80 cents/kWh||24 months|
|LifeGreen 24 (100% Green Energy)||27.23 cents/kWh||24 months|
|Seraya Energy (Geneco)||Give Us A Try (Price Match Guarantee)||29.00 cents/kWh||6 months|
|Get It Fixed 12||29.00 cents/kWh||12 months|
|Get It Fixed 24||29.00 cents/kWh||24 months|
|Sunseap Energy||SUNSEAP-ONE 6M||41.73 cents/kWh||6 months|
|SUNSEAP-100 6M||44.94 cents/kWh||6 months|
|Tuas Power Supply||PowerFix 12 (Same SP Bill)||29.79 cents/kWh||12 months|
|PowerFix 24 (Same SP Bill)||29.79 cents/kWh||24 months|
|Union Power||Union Saver 6||48.15 cents/kWh||6 months|
The best rate for the short term (6 months) is Geneco – Give us a try at 29.00 cents/kWh. The other short-term plan rates offered by Sunseap Energy and Union Power are above 40 cents/kWh, which is much higher than the current regulated tariff rate of 29.90 cents/kWh (with GST).
For a mid-term plan (12 months), the best rate is offered by Keppel Electric – Fixed12 at 26.88 cents/kWh. All the other retail providers are currently offering rates lower than the regulated tariff for their 12-month plans.
Lastly, for the longer-term plan (24 months) the best rate is offered by Senoko Energy – LifePower24 at 26.80 cents/kWh.
All three of these plans offer consumers some discount compared to the current regulated tariff rate. But for now, the longer-term plans (12 and 24 months) offer the bigger discount.
Which Plan Should I Take?
Rising inflation and the Russian–Ukraine War, has caused energy prices to soar. The current SP tariff rate, which is applicable from 1 April to 30 June 2022, is 29.90 cents/kWh (with GST). This is the highest the tariff rate has been since January 2014.
Though the number of electricity plans is lower, and the discounts are smaller compared to the past couple of years, consumers could still benefit from switching to an OEM retailer.
If you believe the war will be prolonged for the next few months, then you can consider taking up a longer-term plan of either 12-months or 24-months. The best fixed rates are offered by Keppel Electric – Fixed12 and Senoko Energy – LifePower24, respectively. Both plans are roughly 11% lower than the current SP tariff rate.
If you view the current high price point to be temporary, and will wane out soon, then you can consider taking a shorter-term fixed rate plan of 6-months by Geneco – Give us a try. It offers a discount of roughly 3% off the regulated tariff rate.
Lastly, if you do not wish to time the energy rates but still wish to pay less than the regulated tariff rate, then the discount off regulated tariff plan – Senoko Energy’s LifeSave12, may be suitable. The plan locks you in for a period of 12 months, which is suitable for those wishing to get a better deal than the SP rate.
This article was first published on 1 October 2018 and has been updated to reflect the latest prices.
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