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 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 – Operations have ceased
- 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 13 October 2022, there are no Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plan offered by retailers:
Best Fixed Price Plans Across OEM Retailers
As of 13 October 2022, these are the Fixed Price plans available, which you can compare below:
|Retailer||Name Of Plan||Price||Contract Duration|
|Keppel Electric||FIXED12||31.80 cents/kWh||12 months|
|FIXED24||31.80 cents/kWh||24 months|
|ecoGreen 12||37.80 cents/kWh||12 months|
|EcoGreen 24||37.80 cents/kWh||24 months|
|PacificLight Energy||Sunny Side-Up 12m (Green Plan)||31.60 cents/kWh||12 months|
|Savvy Saver 12||31.60 cents/kWh||12 months|
|Savvy Saver 24||31.30 cents/kWh||24 months|
|Easy Peasy||28.88 cents/kWh (+ 0.50 cents daily charge)||No Contract|
|Stack It Up||29.53 cents/kWh||24 months|
|Save While Sleeping||21.40¢/kWh (11pm – 7am)
42.80¢/kWh (7am – 11pm)
|Sembcorp Power||12M Fixed Price Home||31.81 cents/kWh||12 months|
|12M Sunshine Plan||36.09 cents/kWh||12 months|
|Senoko Energy||LifePower12 (3% Green Energy)||31.12 cents/kWh||12 months|
|LifePower24 (3% Green Energy)||31.12 cents/kWh||24 months|
|LifeGreen 24 (100% Green Energy)||31.55 cents/kWh||24 months|
|Seraya Energy (Geneco)||Give Us A Try||31.52 cents/kWh||6 months|
|Get It Fixed 12||31.12 cents/kWh||12 months|
|Get It Fixed 24||31.12 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||31.71 cents/kWh||12 months|
|PowerFix 18||31.71 cents/kWh||18 months|
|PowerFix 24||31.71 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 31.52 cents/kWh. Another option is PacificLight Energy – Easy Peasy which has no contract but a daily charge of $0.50 at 28.88 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 32.28 cents/kWh (with GST).
For a mid-term plan (12 months), the best rate is offered by Senoko Energy – LifePower12 and Geneco – Get It Fixed 12 at 31.12 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 Pacific Light Energy – Stack It Up at 29.53 cents/kWh, followed by Geneco – Get It Fixed 24 and Senoko Energy – LifePower24 at 31.12 cents/kWh.
An interesting option for those who mainly use electricity at night is PacificLight Energy – Save While Sleeping which offers a lower rate during 11pm to 7am at 21.40¢/kWh.
All of these plans offer consumers some discount compared to the current regulated tariff rate. Though, some of these discounts are marginal compared to the regulated tariff.
Which Plan Should I Take?
The current SP tariff rate, which applies from 1 October to 31 December 2022, is 31.82 cents/kWh (with GST). Prices have since dropped from the high of 32.28 cents/kWh (with GST) in the last quarter.
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.
The current OPEC+ decision to cut oil supply output and the war in Ukraine has not alleviated the situation. However, thankfully prices have reduced for the last quarter of 2022.
Most providers have lower rates as compared to SP with Pacific Light Energy – Stack It Up at a ~ 7.19% lower price per kWh, albeit a 24month contract, being the most affordable in the market currently.
This article was first published on 1 October 2018 and has been updated to reflect the latest prices.
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