Open Electricity Market: Which Remaining OEM Plan Should Homeowners Adopt ?, Lifestyle News
Update [Oct 16]: Two OEM electricity providers – iSwitch and Ohm Energy – recently announced that they would withdraw from the electricity market in Singapore. Some reasons include the volatility of the electricity market which has made pricing plans below the regulated tariff unsustainable and rising fuel costs.
There is also a report from Reuters indicating that SilverCloud Energy, which supplies electricity to commercial, industrial and residential buildings, has also announced its exit from the market.
Further, it appears from this report that Diamond Electric is currently only offering a zero percent discount on the current regulated tariff (with a note stating “this plan is temporarily not available”) while the website of Best Electricity has no more information on its plans.
Since 2018-2019, when the Open Electricity Market (OEM) was officially rolled out across the country, Singaporeans are no longer limited to buying their electricity from the SP group.
What is the rationale for OEM? How to switch to another electricity supplier? What types of packages are available?
In this article, we cover all of that so you can decide to make the switch.
What is the Open Electricity Market (OEM)?
It is an initiative that was launched in March this year by the Energy Market Authority (EMA).
The OEM allows you to choose between electricity retailers in the same way that you can choose, for example, telecom operators. But you don’t have to change if you don’t want to; you can continue to buy from Singapore Power Group (SP Group).
Also note that SP still maintains and operates the power grid, so reliability is not affected when you go to a retailer.
How does the open electricity market work?
As part of the OEM, consumers can now purchase electricity plans from a wide variety of providers.
The objective of this initiative is to liberalize the local retail electricity market, and to allow consumers to benefit from âcompetitive tariffsâ and âinnovative offersâ.
Before the OEM, only companies with a monthly electricity consumption of 2,000 kWh or more could decide which supplier to buy their electricity from.
When will I be able to change my electricity supplier?
After a successful soft launch of 108,000 homes and 9,500 businesses in Jurong, households and businesses with zip codes 58 to 78 – around 350,000 accounts – can also choose to switch to an electricity retailer of their choice from of November 1, 2018.
Subsequently, the OEM will be gradually rolled out across the country. The gradual deployment will be done in four batches, and the second batch will be able to choose its energy retailer from January 1, 2019.
The diagram below illustrates the rest of the deployment; By May 1, 2019, all consumers in Singapore will be able to switch energy providers.
What is the point of changing supplier?
In the broad sense, competition helps keep prices low as every retailer struggles to get customers. It also encourages innovation and productivity among competing companies, so that we, the customers, can get a better deal.
Most packages offered by electricity retailers are for 12-24 month contracts, although some retailers differ.
For example, Tuas Power has a plan that only lasts six months, so you can test it out. If you’re interested, check what you owe after six months and see if it’s less than your regular bill.
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What are the different electricity plans available?
The Energy Market Authority (EMA) stipulates that electricity suppliers offer two standard tariff plans.
That said, there are three types of pricing plans available, which you can choose from depending on your needs:
- Fixed price package
- Off-tariff discount plans (DoT)
- Peak and off-peak packages
1. Fixed price packages
Fixed price packages are pretty self-explanatory; you pay a fixed rate for the electricity you consume (for example 16.27 cents per kWh) for the duration of your contract.
This amount does not change regardless of whether energy costs rise or fall. So if the price of energy drops while you’re on this plan, you pay more. If energy costs go up while you’re on this plan, you save money.
Fixed price plans are probably more suited to business owners who want to keep their energy costs fixed, making it easier for them to plan and estimate their expenses.
This plan is also worth revising for homeowners who rent out their entire apartment, as it clearly indicates how much electricity costs should be factored into the rent.
2. Tariff reduction plans (DOT)
On the other hand, the Discount Off Tariff (DOT) plans allow you to benefit from a discount on the regulated tariff in force. The tariff price is revised quarterly and is currently 25.80 cents / kWh until December 31, 2021.
While taking this plan means the price fluctuates, it also means you’ll always pay less than if you bought from SP.
This is probably the OEM plan that most homeowners will settle for.
3. Peak and off-peak periods
Besides the above two standard plans, there are also non-standard peak and off-peak plans.
Under this plan, you are billed more at some (peak) times and less at others (off-peak). It’s pretty much the same way your Grab app works.
By charging different prices for electricity use depending on the time of day, those who work nights or work late, for example, may find these plans the most cost effective option.
Note that such plans will only save you money if you have (1) a well-established routine, which allows you to predict when you will be using electricity, and (2) you are consistently using a lot of electricity on the go. odd hours.
Some OEM retailers offering this plan include Pacific Light and Keppel Electric.
What else can you get?
Some plans will give you additional benefits. For example, if you care about the environment, go for solar power.
Sunseap, an OEM electricity retailer, is powered by grid-connected solar panels. These panels were gradually installed on the roofs of residential buildings, including HDB apartments, across the island.
Some OEM retailers like Tuas Power and Senoko Energy give you smart discounts and rewards for purchasing electricity.
For now, you’ll have to shop around manually to compare retailers.
But wait a bit; we’re sure a billion comparison sites will appear to help you compare with each other, alongside credit cards, personal loans, travel insurance, and more.
What about the Transmission Loss Factor (TLF) that everyone is talking about?
The TLF refers to the energy that is lost in the delivery process. And even if it was lost during delivery, you may need to pay the full amount delivered just like with your Taobao agent.
Previous retailers who passed this charge on to consumers include Keppel Electricity, Pacific Light and Sembcorp Power Pte Ltd – but this list is not exhaustive and other retailers may as well (ask before signing the contract).
TLF charges are likely to be low, adding around three to four percent to the total bill, if they always do.
List of OEM Electricity Retailers in Singapore
At the time of writing (10/16/2021) there are 10 OEM electricity retailers in Singapore, but it’s good to check out the latest list here.
- Better electricity supply
- Electric Diamond
- Electric keppel
- Geneco (by Seraya Energy)
- PacificLight Energy
- Sembcorp power
- Senoko energy supply
- Sunseap Energy
- Tuas Food
- Union power
Among this current list, Tuas Power, Senoko Energy, Geneco, Keppel Electric, PacificLight Energy and Sembcorp Power are backed by power generation companies.
How to switch to an electricity retailer?
Once you’ve contacted the retailer and signed up with them, they’ll work directly with SP to take over.
The only thing you may need to do is install a smart meter if you have a peak and off-peak plan. It costs $ 40 (before GST).
Overall, the open electricity market bodes well for homeowners
A little competition helps keep prices low, or at least give you more freebies for your energy use.
Still, we think a little laziness might stop the change early on – not everyone can bother to check their electric bill and project the savings. It will adapt over time.
To compare the tariff plans offered by different electricity retailers, click here.
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This article first appeared in 99.co.