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Open Electricity Market Cheatsheet: How To Choose The Electricity Plan That Best Suits Your Needs

Living in Jurong and thinking of buying electricity from a retailer? Here’s how you can choose a plan that best suits your needs.


This article was written in collaboration with the Energy Market Authority. Any views expressed in the article are the independent opinion of DollarsAndSense.sg

For Jurong consumers, you might have read about the potential savings you stand to enjoy by switching to an electricity retailer under Open Electricity Market (OEM). That sense of excitement might have turned to bewilderment with the many choices in terms of price plans that you can choose from.

If you are in a fix over the many choices to choose from, we hope this article can explain to you everything you need to know to choose a plan that best suits your household’s needs.

Read Also: Thinking Of Switching To An Electricity Retailer? Here Is What You First Need To Know

The Open Electricity Market

In line with the Energy Market Authority’s (EMA) efforts to liberalise Singapore’s electricity retail market and provide consumers with more choices, EMA soft launched OEM in Jurong with these 13 participating retailers:

  1. Best Electricity
  2. Diamond Electric
  3. Geneco
  4. iSwitch
  5. Keppel Electric
  6. Ohm Energy
  7. PacificLight Energy
  8. Red Dot Power
  9. Sembcorp Power
  10. Senoko Energy
  11. Sun Electric
  12. Sunseap
  13. Tuas Power

Type Of Standard Price Plans Offered By OEM Retailers

Before we start comparing the different standard price plans offered by each retailer, it is important to first understand how each works.

In general, retailers can offer any of these three types of standard price plans: 1) Discount Off The Regulated Tariff, 2) Fixed Price and 3) Peak And Off-Peak. Here is how each electricity plan works.

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

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 the quarterly tariff fluctuations, it may be higher or lower than the tariff over time.

Source: Energy Market Authority

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

Source: Energy Market Authority

Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plans

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

There are currently a total of 30 Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plans offered by the various retailers. Here are the various plans compared:

As you can see, Geneco’s Give Us A Try (6 months) plan offers the highest percentage discount off the regulated tariff at 23.80% (as of 19 July 2018). However, the short contract duration can be seen as a double-edged sword.

On one hand, it frees you up to choose a 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.

If you want to lock in the highest percentage of discount off the regulated tariff, the next best deal (as of 19 July 2018) is Sembcorp Power’s 24M Discount Off Tariff Home plan which provides a very attractive 23.50% discount off the regulated tariff over a period of 24 months.

As you can see in the comparison table, some plans also offer you the choice to have your home powered partially or completely by electricity generated from clean energy sources. You will need to decide which retailer and price plan suits you best by considering factors like when you use electricity, how long is the contract, what is the price offered, or whether you prefer to use green energy.

Fixed Price Plans

As of 19 July 2018, there are 22 Fixed Price plans available, which you can compare below:

The lowest rate (as of 19 July 2018), would be Geneco’s Get It Fixed 24 plan, which is at 15.99 cents/kWh for a 24-month contract.

For those who prefer a shorter tenure, the best 6-month Fixed Price plan (as of 19 July 2018) is Best Electricity Supply’s BEST Home Fixed 6 months, which offers a rate of 16.28 cents/kWh.

Peak And Off-Peak Plans

Comparing between the 6 Peak and Off-Peak plans is a little trickier, since not all vendors have the same definition for the “peak period”. Thus, in a way, there is no definitive “best” plan.

How To Choose The Plan That Best Suits You

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.

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.

The current regulated tariff is 23.65 cents/kWh (from 1 July to 30 September 2018).

  • Highest tariff in past 24 months: 23.65 cents/kWh
  • Lowest tariff in past 24 months: 19.13 cents/kWh
  • Average tariff in past 24 months: 21.14 cents/kWh

Source: SP Group

For comparison across the Fixed Price plans, take your average monthly electricity consumption (derived in Step 1) and multiply that with rates given by the price plans that you are considering. This is how much you can expect to pay.

Estimated Bill = Average Monthly Electricity Consumption x Rate (per kWh)

For comparison across the Discount Off the Regulated Tariff plans, factor in the percentage discount to derive the rate that you will be paying. Multiply that rate with your average monthly electricity consumption and the result will be the estimated electricity bill that you may be paying if you choose this plan.

Estimated Bill = Average Monthly Electricity Consumption x Rate (based on Discount Off Regulated Tariff plan)

As mentioned earlier, there is no definitive “best” Peak and Off-Peak plan. Nonetheless, it is worth considering this plan if you find that your electricity usage pattern falls within the off-peak timings set by the retailers.

So far, we have covered what you need to know before choosing a price plan offered by retailers. However, it is not compulsory for you to switch. There is no deadline to do so either so take your time to shop around before making your decision.

Step 3: Read The Fine Print

After you have shortlisted a price plan that best suits your needs, you can visit the retailer’s website and download the Fact Sheet for the plan. It summarises 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.

You should also look out for the Consumer Advisory by EMA 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.

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, electricity retailers may offer referral discounts and other bundled offers or promotions. As these tend to be limited-time or limited-quantity offers, they should not be the key factor in driving you to sign up with a retailer.

Ultimately, choosing your electricity retailer and plan is an important decision that you should make based on your needs.

Making The Switch

If you are a Jurong resident, you can already make the switch to an electricity retailer and price plan of your choice. For more information on the plans and sign-up process, simply visit www.openelectricitymarket.sg or contact the retailers directly.

The switch will be carried out seamlessly between the retailers and SP Group. As SP Group manages the national power grid to deliver electricity to everyone, you need not worry about your electricity supply when you make the switch. Regardless of which retailer you choose, your electricity supply will not be affected.

With the power to choose, may you choose wisely!


 
 

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