Open Electricity Market: Should You Make The Switch?

By EdgeProp Singapore / EdgeProp | January 11, 2019 11:32 PM SGT
Starting 1 November 2018, Open Electricity Market (OEM) will be extended to all consumers across Singapore by zones. Over 1.4 million households and business accounts will have the option of buying electricity from a retailer on a price plan that best meets their needs.
OEM will give consumers more choice and flexibility, while enjoying the same supply through the national power grid.
Consumers can also choose to remain with SP Group and buy electricity at the regulated tariff, and no further action is needed on their part. It is not compulsory to switch to a retailer, and there is no deadline for switching.
1) Nationwide rollout of Open Electricity Market (OEM)
The nationwide launch of Open Electricity Market (OEM) will be rolled out progressively in four geographical zones, as detailed below:
* Schedule is accurate as of 21 September 2018, but may be subject to further changes. ^ Consumers in Jurong (postal codes 60-64) have been able to buy electricity from a retailer since 1 April 2018
Source: Open Electricity Market
With the advent of January 2019, consumers in areas like Bishan and Ang Mo Kio now have the option of switching to their electricity retailer of choice. The main question on everyone’s minds is what are the potential cost savings of doing so?
In this article, we will compare various pricing plans offered by these new electricity retailers to help you with your financial decisions.
2) How much electricity do Singaporeans consume?
Below is a snapshot of how much electricity Singapore households consume on average on a monthly basis, based on data from SP Group.
Average consumption is based on total consumption divided by total number of accounts in the respective premises types. The figures exclude electricity charges for pay-as-you-use (PAYU) customers.
Average Electricity Consumption (kWh)
Source: SP Group
3) What will change will these new electricity retailers?
With Open Electricity Market (OEM), you can choose to purchase electricity from a retailer at a price plan that best suits your needs. Currently, the type of price plans that are being offered include: fixed priced plans (e.g. a fixed rate of $0.20 throughout the duration of the plan’s contract) and discount off the regulated tariff plans (e.g. 5% off).
Note that you should only purchase electricity from retailers participating in the OEM. There are 13 electricity retailers that are authorised at this point in time. They are:
  • 1. Best Electricity Supply
  • 2. Environmental Solutions (Asia) Pte Ltd
  • 3. iSwitch
  • 4. Keppel Electric
  • 5. Ohm Energy
  • 6. PacificLight Energy
  • 7. Sembcorp Power
  • 8. Senoko Energy Supply
  • 9. Geneco by Seraya Energy
  • 10. Sunseap Energy Group
  • 11. Tuas Power Supply
  • 12. Union Power Ptd Ltd
  • 13. Diamond Electric
4) Potential cost savings with OEM
For reference, the SP regulated tariff rate is at approximately $0.253/kWH this quarter.
Source: SP Group
Using this rate for 1Q2019, if you live in a 4-room HDB flat, you would be paying an average of $91.10 a month if you stick with status quo (we derived this figure based on the average monthly energy consumption of a 4-room HDB flat between the time period of December 2017 and November 2018, which came up to about 357kWh per month).
While choosing a plan from 13 available retailers can be quite tedious, the rates provided by some of these private retailers are substantially lower than the current tariff. To make your life simpler, we are going to look at residential plans to find out how much you can potentially save.
Fixed Price Plans:
Discount off regulated tariff plans:
However, do note that actual savings will depend on the plan you select and actual electricity consumption over the relevant contract period.
5) What are some considerations before changing?
First things first, buying electricity from a retailer does not affect your electricity supply. This is because SP Group will continue to operate the national power grid and deliver electricity to all households.
If you choose to switch to a retailer, the retailer that you sign up with will work with SP Group to make the switch for you. However, before you sign up with a retailer, here are a few things to note:
Make sure to read your selected price plan's fact sheet and understand the key contractual terms. For instance, if you choose a contract with automatic renewal, the retailer must offer a renewed electricity rate that is lower than the regulated tariff at the point of renewal.
Also read the fine print and take note of the terms and conditions for any bundled products or services. Finally, ask the retailer to explain the terms and conditions of the contract if you do not understand them.