As global energy costs rise because of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, Singaporeans need to prepare themselves for higher petrol and electricity prices as well.
Energy costs worldwide were already on the rise over the past six months due to reopening economies and environmental crises, but the current Russo-Ukrainian conflict has further hiked prices up.
Russia is one of the largest oil exporters in the world, and both Ukraine and Russia contain large natural gas reserves that provide their export supplies.
With the geopolitical instability in Ukraine and the increasing sanctions imposed upon Russia amidst the Russo-Ukrainian conflict further constricting global supplies, petrol and electricity prices in Singapore are expected to continue rising.
Most of the oil companies in Singapore have already raised their prices, with electricity costs for both households and businesses also expected to grow within the upcoming months, so would we see a sudden spike in monthly utility bills?
Well, you don’t have to worry just yet. Despite surging prices that might cause financial stress, there are still several ways for you to tighten your budget and manage these changes.
Here are some of the key things you need to know about petrol and electricity expenses in Singapore, and how you can save on them:
How Can You Save on Petrol?
Petrol prices in Singapore have been on the rise over the past year due to an unfortunate mix of factors such as a global supply crunch and poor economic conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, most taxi services have already announced an increase in fares starting from March 2022 due to surging fuel costs.
This upward trend in prices, unfortunately, is expected to worsen as the Russo-Ukrainian war continues.
Current Fuel Prices in Singapore 2022
This is a stressful change for all because it affects almost everyone’s budget as long as you either own a vehicle or use cab-hailing services.
The good news is that there are several tips and tricks that you can use to cut back on your fuel spending to better navigate this price hike.
Best Petrol Credit Cards
Credit cards which specialise in providing petrol discounts are a great way to minimise your spending. These cards provide you with exclusive petrol discounts and high cashback rates that can be a huge relief for your wallet.
Here are some of the best petrol credit cards in the market:
Consider this if you want high savings at SPC and Shell.
- Good fit for budgets of at least S$2,000 per month
- Easy cashback on daily spend
- Gives rebates for paying bills
- Doesn’t fit high budgets or low/inconsistent budgets
- Annual fee
Offering up to 24% savings at SPC and over 21% savings at Shell, the UOB One Card offers some of the highest rebates for petrol spend.
Consider this if you want high savings at Caltex and Esso.
- 6% rebate on dining, 3% on groceries, transport, recurring bills, online travel
- Fee waiver with S$10,000 annual spend
- Up to 22.1% fuel savings at Caltex, 20.2% at Esso
- 0.3% rebate on general spend
- High S$800 minimum spend requirement
OCBC 365 offers some of the highest petrol savings with 22.1% off at Caltex and 20.2% off at Esso. There is also a 5% cashback offered at all other petrol stations, making it one of the best cards for petrol savings.
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Citi Cashback offers over 20% cashback at both Esso and Shell stations, making it a great option to cut back on your fuel expenditure.
HSBC Visa Platinum
Consider this if you want high savings at Caltex and Shell.
- Great local dining & groceries rewards
- Suitable for moderate budgets (S$1,600+/month)
- Cashback & miles rewards
- Limited miles & travel perks
- Not suitable for frequent online shoppers
The HSBC Visa Platinum card offers an impressive 20.2% fuel savings at Caltex and 18.3% savings at Shell. With its 2-year premium waiver and high cashback rates for other general spend as well, it offers great benefits and value-for-money.
For a more detailed and comprehensive list of credit cards that offer great petrol discounts, you can check out this article.
Other Tips and Tricks
Fortunately, credit card discounts are not the only way to save money.
Here are some everyday tips and tricks that you can use to make sure that you don’t spend a single unnecessary cent on fuel:
1. Good Maintenance of Your Vehicle
A well-maintained vehicle consumes less fuel, and there are a few ways that you can make sure your vehicle is in tiptop condition.
- Keep your tires pumped: Underinflated tires tend to use more fuel because of higher resistance on the road.
- Service your engine: A well-tuned and regularly maintained engine will consume less fuel.
- Clean your air filters: If your air filters are clogged, they can increase fuel consumption by up to 10%.
2. Develop Good Driving Practices
How you use your vehicle everyday also matters. The following tips will help you minimise your fuel consumption:
Best Electricity Plans
Just like petrol prices, the cost of electricity in Singapore has also been steadily rising over the past year. Household electricity tariffs have risen by an average of 5.6% since the start of the year–the fourth consecutive quarter to see such an increase.
These costs are sure to continue rising during the Russo-Ukrainian war as global fuel costs surge. What can you do to better manage this spike in cost?
Choose the Right Electricity Plan
Since the Open Electricity Market (OEM) initiative was launched in Singapore back in 2018, Singaporeans have had the option to opt out of Singapore Power and get their electricity from one of the alternate electricity retailers instead.
OEM retailers tend to offer plans that have a slightly cheaper tariff rate as compared to Singapore Power. With electricity prices projected to climb in the upcoming months, switching to OEM might be a smart move to cut back on costs.
Generally, electricity plans from OEM retailers fall into either one of these two categories: fixed price plans, or discount off the regulated tariff plans.
Fixed Price Plans
As suggested by its name, fixed price plans offer a reliable, fixed price that you need to pay monthly over the term of your contract which is usually between 6 to 24 months. This is a reassuring option if you want a stable electricity bill that won’t expose you to the current volatility in the energy market.
Of course, the drawback of such plans is, if the electricity tariff were to decrease for some reason, you’ll be stuck paying electricity bills that are slightly pricier, than if you were to be tied to a discounted regulated tariff plan.
Regulated Tariff Plans
Discount off the regulated tariff plans, on the other hand, offer discounts based on the regulated tariff prices. As of March 2022, the electricity tariff is 27.22 cents per kWh. While these plans ensure that customers always pay less than if they had opted for a Singapore Power subscription, they are dependent on the regulated tariff rates, which are subject to change every quarter.
Which Should You Go For?
Wondering which OEM plan will offer you the best prices? Here is a summary of the best plans in the market right now.
||27.10¢/kWh OR 28.10¢/kWh (green plan)
||28.60¢/kWh (+ 50¢ daily charge)
Geneco has the cheapest rates in town for their fixed rate plans – which cover either 6 months, 12 months, or 24 months – at only 26.80 cents per kWh. They even offer bill rebates and FairPrice vouchers for applicants who opt for their 24-month plan, which can dramatically lower your monthly electric bill.
2. Sembcorp Power
Sembcorp Power’s fixed rate plans are another option that offers affordable rates at only 27.10 cents per kWh. With exclusive monthly rebates worth up to S$60 available for select bank members, Sembcorp Power’s plans are worth considering if you are from the participating banks.
At only 27.11 cents per kWh, PacificLight is right behind the former two retailers in terms of affordability. Their deposit waiver for participating banks’ cardholders and exclusive rebates make them an attractive option.
If you’re looking for more information about the OEM plans in the market, you can check out this article.
If you want a discounted tariff rate rather than a fixed-price plan instead, Senoko’s 12-month LifeSave12 is the best option in the market. The plan offers a 6% discount off the quarterly regulated tariff, which is the highest amongst similar retailers.
Price hikes on things like petrol and electricity can be extra stressful, especially when it happens amidst a pandemic that has already complicated our lives. Fortunately, there are still many ways for you to lower your spending without sacrificing your quality of life, one of which includes looking for the best financial products that suit your needs.
Looking for a suitable credit card for yourself that matches all your needs? You can read our carefully-curated credit card guides here.
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels
This article was first published on ValueChampion and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
This article was first published on Value Champion and was republished on theAsianparent with permission.