Since November 2018, Singapore households were finally able to buy electricity from the Open Electricity Market (OEM) – simply put, electricity retailers other than SP Group.
These retailers offer different price plans and electricity rates to cater to the different ways households consume electricity.
Sounds complicated, but there’s a way to identify electricity packages that will guarantee savings (More on that later!).
Guide to Singapore’s Open Electricity Market (OEM)
1. How to choose your electricity retailer
Ok, first things first, a quick explanation:
SP Services sells electricity at a regulated tariff that’s revised every quarter, based on fuel costs, operational costs and more. (Here’s a complete explanation, if you must know!)
It’s important to know this in order to understand how you’ll save money by switching to another electricity retailer in the OEM, since their electricity rates are pegged to this regulated tariff.
Tip: The regulated tariff is relatively stable, fluctuating by +/- 2 cents per kWh quarterly at most.
The current tariff (2019Q3, July to September 2019) is 24.22 cents per kWh (25.92 cents per kWh inclusive of GST).
Electricity retailers in the OEM offer 3 main types of electricity price plans: Fixed Price Plans and Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plans (which are Standard Price Plans), as well as Non-Standard Price Plans.
1. Fixed Price Plans
With Fixed Price Plans, you pay a fixed rate for your electricity throughout the duration of your contract.
This is regardless of any electricity tariff revisions, meaning there may be some months you’ll be paying a higher rate for your electricity, and other months you’ll be paying a lower rate.
2. Discount Off Regulated Tariff
Discount Off Regulated Tariff plans are, well, exactly that – plans that offer a discount off the prevailing regulated tariff price.
Your electricity rate changes accordingly, i.e. with that discount rate applied, whenever the regulated tariff is revised.
3. Non-Standard Price Plans
Non-Standard Price Plans are plans where electricity rates may not be all-inclusive, or have flexible pricing structures.
For instance, some plans charge lower prices for electricity use during non-peak hours, and slightly higher prices during peak hours.
Or, stick with SP Group
2. Comparing your options
The OEM website has a useful price comparison tool that makes things much simpler:
Simply input your consumer type, housing type, and average monthly consumption, and you’ll be able to check out the different price plans and your estimated monthly bill at a glance.
Tip: Note that Non-Standard Price Plans are not included in this list, so you’ll have to ask retailers about them separately.
You can also sort the options according to how much it’ll cost, or filter them according to the contract duration, whether there’s a security deposit to be paid, eco-friendliness and more; or, select the best options to compare them against each other.
Download the factsheet of each plan to get a clearer understanding of the contract. Many of these retailers offer perks such as bank rebates and free insurance, which will be detailed in the factsheet.
Tip: Price plans with a longer contract duration typically come with lower electricity rates, but bear in mind that you’ll incur termination fees if you wish to break the contract prematurely.
At this point, you’re probably wondering: What’s the catch? Surely this is too good to be true?
Electricity retailers in the OEM can offer cheaper electricity than SP group because they’re either the retail arm of power generators or independent retailers which buy electricity from the wholesale market.
As Singapore’s electricity generation capacity began to exceed consumption about 5 years ago, wholesale electricity prices dipped, allowing electricity retailers to pass these savings on to everyday consumers.
That said, demand for electricity in Singapore is likely to increase over time, which will affect the OEM’s electricity prices as well.
Electricity retailers in the Open Electricity Market (OEM)
Here are the list of electricity retailers participating in the OEM:
- Best Electricity Supply Pte Ltd
- Diamond Energy Merchants Pte Ltd
- ES Power (by Environmental Solutions (Asia) Pte Ltd)
- Geneco (by Seraya Energy Pte Ltd)
- iSwitch Pte Ltd
- Keppel Electric Pte Ltd
- Ohm Energy Pte Ltd
- PacificLight Energy Pte Ltd
- Sembcorp Power Pte Ltd
- Senoko Energy Supply Pte Ltd
- Sunseap Energy Pte Ltd
- Tuas Power Supply Pte Ltd
- Union Power Pte Ltd
3. How to switch to an OEM electricity retailer
Simply follow the steps to sign up with your chosen electricity retailer on their website. This will involve submitting your latest meter reading.
P.S. These electricity retailers have referral promos to save you even more money:
Then, leave it up to them to work with SP Group to make the switch for you.
Your new electricity retailer may choose to either bill you directly, or via SP Group.
If they bill you directly, you’ll be receiving two utility bills every month: one electricity bill from your new retailer, and another non-electricity (water and gas) bill from SP Group.
You’ll have to set up a payment procedure separately e.g. via GIRO or credit card.
If they bill you via SP group, you’ll continue to receive just one bill for both electricity and non-electricity charges, and you can continue with your current payment arrangement as per normal.
OEM vs SP Services
The freedom to pick your electricity retailer from the OEM is definitely beneficial, whether you’re setting up your utilities for your new home (Here’s a step-by-step guide!) or reworking your household expenditures.