Open Electricity Market (OEM) Singapore: Complete 2019 Guide

Open Electricity Market (OEM) Singapore: Complete 2019 Guide

Since 1 May 2019, all households in Singapore can switch electricity retailers. Here’s your complete guide to the Open Electricity Market and electricity retailers in Singapore.

What is Open Electricity Market?

Open Electricity Market (OEM) is an initiative by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) to liberalise and open the electricity market to new players. For the end consumer, that means you enjoy more options and flexibility when buying electricity, with the end goal of lowering your monthly electricity bills.

From 1 November 2018 to 1 May 2019, the OEM was gradually rolled out nationwide to all consumers, mainly households, by zones. All households can now switch to their preferred OEM retailer and choose a price plan that best meets their needs. Alternatively, they can choose to stay with the incumbent provider, SP Group.

Currently, there are over a dozen OEM retailers offering competitive pricing and promotions that help lower your monthly electricity bills.

Electricity retailers in Singapore

Electricity retailers in Singapore: Which is the best electricity retailer?

Before choosing an OEM retailer, you need to understand how quarterly tariff prices are set by SP Power, and what factors contribute to price fluctuations. Then you can pick the plan that best suits how your household consumes electricity. There is also no pressure to switch to a new retailer if you’re undecided or are happy with the incumbent provider, SP Group.

There are three main types of OEM plans:

The “best” electricity retailer really depends on your household’s electricity consumption. For example, if your household consumes electricity mostly during non-peak hours, you can take advantage of Peak/Off-Peak Price Plans. If your consumption is lower than the national average, check out the Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plan.

When choosing your electricity retailer, you don’t always have to go for the cheapest option. Consider other factors such as credit card rebates, referral and promo codes, and each retailer’s unique value proposition.

How are electricity tariffs calculated every quarter?

The tariff set by SP Services is reviewed each quarter and regulated by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) to reflect the actual cost of electricity. This tariff comprises two key components: fuel cost and non-fuel cost.

Fuel costs are tied to natural gas prices, which are indexed to oil prices by commercial contracts. These prices change depending on global market conditions. About 95% of Singapore’s electricity is generated by imported natural gas, which means that the price of electricity is closely tied to global conditions and oil prices.

Non-fuel costs are the cost of generating and delivering electricity to homes, such as:

  • Power Generation Cost: the manpower and maintenance costs of running the power stations
  • Grid Charge: the cost of transporting electricity through the power grid
  • Market Support Services (MSS) Fee: the costs of billing and meter readings
  • Power System Operation and Market Administration Fees: costs related to operating the power system and administering the wholesale electricity market

The recent July-September quarter saw a 6.4% rise in the electricity tariff.

What should I watch out for when choosing electricity retailers in Singapore? 

Read the fine print before committing to any plan. Beyond the competitive prices advertised, ask for a Fact Sheet and Consumer Advisory so that you can check on:

  • Paper bill fee
  • Security deposit
  • Administrative fees
  • AMI meter installation fees
  • Auto-renewal clauses
  • Carbon tax
  • Early termination charges
  • Late payment fees
  • Transmission loss factor
  • Eligibility for using U-Save GST vouchers

You can also ask for any partner benefits when signing up for a particular retailer. For example, Keppel Electric is offering exclusive sign-up promos with City Gas so you can save more on your electricity-gas combo.

How do I switch electricity providers?

Step 1: Check out and compare price plans that OEM retailers are offering using the super handy Price Comparison Tool.

Step 2: Contact your preferred OEM retailer and ask for more information on the price plan you’re interested in. Be sure to ask for a Fact Sheet and Consumer Advisory.

Step 3: Once you’ve decided on a price plan, sign up with your preferred OEM retailer who will work directly with SP Group to initiate the switch.

Will my electricity supply be disrupted during the switch? 

Your electricity supply will not be disrupted if and when you decide to switch OEM retailer. Regardless of who you buy your electricity from, your electricity supply will stay the same because the SP Group operates the national power grid and delivers electricity to consumers.

Will I incur extra fees for switching electricity retailers?

If and when you decide to switch from the SP Group to your preferred OEM retailer, you will not incur any extra fees nor additional charges.

What happens if I change my mind after switching energy supplier? 

In case you change your mind after switching from the SP Group to your current OEM retailer, your current OEM retailer will co-ordinate with the SP Group to make the switch. But take note of any terms and conditions for early termination charges on lock-in contracts when you sign up to a new OEM retailer. 

How will I be billed for my electricity if I switch retailer?

Your billing arrangement depends on your chosen electricity retailer. If the retailer bills you directly, you should receive 2 utility bills every month: 1 for electricity, and 1 for water, gas, and refuse.

If your retailer bills you through SP Group, nothing much will change and you will get 1 consolidated bill covering electricity, water, gas, and refuse charges.

If you’re unsure, check with your retailer on their billing arrangement.

Best Fixed Price Plans in Singapore 2019

A Fixed Price Plan offers a flat rate per kilowatt hour (kWh) for a designated lock-in or contract period – this flat rate can change once your contract is over. This is why some retailers are advertising longer lock-in periods as a way for you to “book” lower promo rates.

During the lock-in period, your household is not subject to quarterly fluctuations that may be higher or lower than regulated tariff over time.

If you prefer certainty over price fluctuations in your monthly bill, Fixed Price Plans may be the best choice for you.

Electricity retailers in Singapore

Source: openelectricitymarket.sg

CHEAPEST FIXED PRICE PLANS BASED ON 6-MONTH CONTRACT
Electricity Supplier Unique Value Proposition Estimated Monthly Bill
Geneco (Seraya Energy Pte Ltd) Lowest fixed rate at shortest supply term $88.40
Sunseap Energy Pte Ltd Largest clean energy solutions provider $90.15
Ohm Energy Pte Ltd Small monthly fee with no contract option $94.50
Best Electricity Supply Pte Ltd No carbon tax and transmission loss factor $105.00

*Figures are based on the cheapest available plan and 500 kWh monthly consumption

CHEAPEST FIXED PRICE PLANS BASED ON 12-MONTH CONTRACT
Electricity Supplier Unique Value Proposition Estimated Monthly Bill
iSwitch Pte Ltd Green certified electricity at no additional cost $88.45
Union Power Pte Ltd Up to $30,000 home insurance coverage $89.90
Senoko Energy Supply Pte Ltd App-based electricity consumption monitor $90.90
Sunseap Energy Pte Ltd Largest clean energy solutions provider $92.25
PacificLight Energy Pte Ltd Low fixed base rate with no contract option $93.25
Keppel Electric Pte Ltd First home grown electricity retailer $93.55
Ohm Energy Pte Ltd Small monthly fee with no contract option $94.50

*Figures are based on the cheapest available plan and 500 kWh monthly consumption

As you can see from the comparison tables above, the contract period makes a difference to the number of retailers you can choose from. Note the difference in rates within the same retailer.

Take Sunseap Energy, for example. Their 12-month fixed rate is higher than their 6-month fixed rate. This is probably because the lower 6-month rate is a promotion rate to encourage new sign-ups, and once you renew your contract, your fixed rate will be higher than even the original 12-month rate.

This is why, when choosing your electricity retailer, don’t always go for the cheapest option. Take into account other factors such as promotional rates, credit card rebates, referral codes, and each retailer’s unique value proposition.

Case in point: if you’re environmentally conscious, consider iSwitch, which is only marginally more expensive than Geneco’s 6-month contract rate (the current cheapest in the market).

Best No Contract Plan: PacificLight Energy 

Pay a fixed rate of 17.53 cents/kWh and a charge of 32 cents/day with no strings attached whatsoever. No contract duration and no early termination charge, but there is a security deposit requirement, which can be waived when you pay by recurring card payment.

Best 6-Month Fixed Price Plan: Geneco

If you’re not ready for a long-term contract and want to lock in potential savings from any fluctuations in quarterly tariff prices, sign up for Geneco’s 6-month fixed price plan and pay a low fixed rate of 17.68 cents/kWh. There are no monthly fees, security deposit nor transmission loss charges.

Best 12-, 24-, and 36-Month Fixed Price Plan: iSwitch

Enjoy low fixed rate at 16.55 cents/kWh (exc. GST); 17.71 cents/kWh (inc. GST) without any carbon tax, service fee and transmission loss charges. Other benefits include free aircon servicing, free personal accident protection, 1% cash rebate on POSB Everyday Card and up to 5% cashback with UOB One credit card bill payment.

As an added bonus, the 24-month plan offers an additional $50 rebate on your 12th-month bill.

Best Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plans in Singapore 2019

Discount Off Regulated Tariff plans offer a discount off the prevailing regulated tariff price set by the SP Group, which is revised every quarter. If you are okay with your electricity rates changing every quarter — so long as it’s below the regulated tariff — this could be the best plan for you.

Electricity retailers in Singapore

Source: openelectricitymarket.sg

BEST DISCOUNT OFF REGULATED TARIFF PLANS BASED ON 6-MONTH CONTRACT
Electricity Supplier Unique Value Proposition Discount Promo Code*
Ohm Energy Pte Ltd Small monthly fee with no contract option 25% N. A.
Sunseap Energy Pte Ltd Largest clean energy solutions provider 23% SUNSEAPSV1
SUNSEAPUOB40
Diamond Energy Merchants Pte Ltd No lock-in period and up to 2% additional bonus discount 20% 
(21% from 4th & 22% from 8th month)
N. A.
Tuas Power Supply Pte Ltd Enjoy 1 LinkPoint with every 8 kWh used 18% N. A.

*Individual promo terms and conditions apply

BEST DISCOUNT OFF REGULATED TARIFF PLANS BASED ON 12-MONTH CONTRACT
Electricity Supplier Unique Value Proposition Discount (off the regulated tariff) Promo Code*
Diamond Energy Merchants Pte Ltd Comes with free Personal Accident Insurance 25% N. A.
Ohm Energy Pte Ltd Option of no contract available 25% N. A.
Sunseap Energy Pte Ltd Largest clean energy solutions provider (1% solar energy) 23% SUNSEAPSV2
SUNSEAPUOB40
iSwitch Pte Ltd Green certified electricity at no additional cost 22.80% N. A.
PacificLight Energy Pte Ltd Low fixed base rate with option of no contract 22% EASY30 (UOB Cards)

*Individual promo terms and conditions apply

BEST DISCOUNT OFF REGULATED TARIFF PLANS BASED ON 24-MONTH CONTRACT
Electricity Supplier Unique Value Proposition Discount (off the regulated tariff) Promo Code*
Sunseap Energy Pte Ltd Largest clean energy solutions provider (1% solar energy) 23% SUNSEAPSV3
SUNSEAPUOB40
Best Electricity Supply Pte Ltd No carbon tax and transmission loss factor 22% N. A.
Keppel Electric Pte Ltd First home grown electricity retailer 22% ONLINE60
SCBKEP65
CGFREEWS
CGKEP060
PacificLight Energy Pte Ltd Low fixed base rate with option of no contract 22% OEM20 (UOB Cards)
Seraya Energy Pte Ltd (Geneco) Lowest fixed rate at shortest supply term 22% GET30
GET68 
PLUSGENECO
Union Power Pte Ltd Up to $30,000 home insurance coverage 18% (No Lock-In Contract)
22% (24-month plan)
N. A.

*Individual promo terms and conditions apply

Best Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plan (6- or 12-month): Ohm Energy Pte Ltd

Ohm Energy offers a generous 25% off regulated tariffs for their 6- and 12-month contracts. What’s more, if you’re a new customer and are not convinced at any time during the first 3 months, you can terminate the service without any early termination fee.

As always, take a look at some value-added offerings that retailers are throwing in. Diamond Energy, for example, is bundling free Personal Accident insurance with their 12-month plan, while Union Power is offering up to $30,000 Home Insurance coverage with their 24-month plan.

Best Peak and Off-Peak Plans in Singapore 2019

Peak and Off-Peak Plans are non-standard price plans that allow consumers to pay their preferred price for electricity usage depending on the time of day. They can vary between the Fixed Price or Discount Off Regulated Tariff model, but the main benefit is for those households who consume most of their electricity during off-peak hours like in the evenings, early morning hours or weekends.

BEST PEAK AND OFF-PEAK PLANS IN SINGAPORE
Electricity Supplier Unique Value Proposition Peak Pricing Off-Peak Pricing
Geneco (Seraya Energy Pte Ltd) Lowest fixed rate at shortest supply term 22.50 cents/kWh
(Monday to Saturday)
FREE
(Sunday)
Keppel Electric Pte Ltd First home grown electricity retailer 20.20 cents/kWh
(7am to 11pm)
16.16 cents/kWh
(11pm to 7am)
PacificLight Energy Pte Ltd Low fixed base rate with no contract option 10% off regulated tariff
(7am to 11pm)
30% off regulated tariff
(11pm to 7am)
Sembcorp Power Pte Ltd Offers blended-green power plans 21.40 cents/kWh
(7am to 7pm)
18.56 cents/kWh
(7pm to 7am)

Knowing your electricity consumption habits can come in handy for Peak and Off-Peak Plans. If you’re out at work for most of the day and are used to sleeping with air-conditioning at night, for example, consider Keppel Electric or PacificLight Energy, which offers the lowest fixed rate and largest discount off tariff respectively.

Best for high electricity use on Sundays: Geneco

The only OEM retailer that offers free electricity consumption on Sundays while Mondays to Saturdays are under a peak plan of $22.50 cents/kWh (Flat Rate/Whole Day). This peak and off-peak plan works best if your electricity consumption is consistently the highest on Sundays. 

Lowest off-peak fixed plan price: Keppel Electric

Although its peak plan of 20.20 cents/kWh (7:00am to 11:00pm) is higher than its fixed price plans of 18.71 cents/kWh (12-month plan), 17.98 cents/kWh (24-month plan), 17.88 cents/kWh (36-month plan), it offers the lowest off-peak plan of 16.16 cents/kWh (11:00pm to 7:00am).

Highest tariff discounts from 11pm-7am: PacificLight Energy

PacificLight Energy off-peak plan of 30% off regulated tariff (11:00pm to 7:00am) is the best offer in the market but the discount is based off the regulated tariff rate. If you believe the regulated tariff rate is expected to decrease in the coming quarter and remain low henceforth, this could be the plan for you.

Bottom Line

It may seem obvious to make a dash for the cheapest OEM plan in the market. But hold your horses – consider other factors with the first and foremost being your own electricity consumption patterns.

Also check for additional charges as mentioned above, like (hidden) administrative fees, auto-renewal clauses, early termination fees, and carbon taxes.

This article was republished with permission from SingSaver. SingSaver is a personal finance comparison platform which provides free, quick and easily accessible resources to help consumers understand personal finance products in Singapore; including credit cards, personal loans and travel insurance.

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