Switching to an Electricity Retailer? Read This Guide First

November 17, 2018 · Paid Partnership with Energy Market Authority
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If you are an astute homeowner who has been reading the news, you are probably already aware that the Open Electricity Market initiative will be rolled out to everyone by zones starting from November 2018, essentially giving local homeowners the freedom to get their electricity from any provider of their choice.

But how exactly do you go about ‘shopping’ for the right price plan? (Hint: It’s almost like signing up for a phone/Internet package from a telco provider.) To help you understand the entire process lightning quick, we have created this simple, all-in-one guide. Check it out!

Guide to picking an electricity retailer in Singapore

Interior firm: Fineline Design

1. Get to Know Your Options

Similar to the local telecom industry with different providers offering cell phone and Internet plans at various rates, there are a total of 13 electricity retailers competing for consumer dollars in the Open Electricity Market. (Click here to see who they are)

However, do take note that it’s not compulsory to switch to any of these electricity retailers. (You can get more details about each of them here.) If you are comfortable with buying your power from the SP Group at current regulated tariff rates, you can continue to do so.

2. Choosing a Price Plan

There are two types of standard price plans: a) Fixed Price Plan OR b) Discount Off the Regulated Tariff Plan. They come in six-, 12- or 24-month contract duration.

Here’s how each of them works:

a) Fixed Price Plan

Guide to picking an electricity retailer in Singapore

Pay a fixed rate throughout your contract period. The rate can be higher or lower than the regulated tariff.

Guide to picking an electricity retailer in Singapore

Rate of 16 cents/kWh (before GST) x 400kWh monthly electricity consumption = $64 (before GST)

Figures and graphs stated are for illustration purposes only.

If you are the type who likes having certainty in your life, getting a Fixed Price plan is recommended because you will be charged the same rate throughout your contract (e.g. 16 cents per kWh), regardless of the current regulated tariff rate.

However, do take note that for the Fixed Price plan, the rate that you will be paying may be higher OR lower than the regulated tariff rate which could change every quarterly.

b) Discount Off the Regulated Tariff Plan

Guide to picking an electricity retailer in Singapore

The rate you pay will change as the regulated tariff is adjusted every three months (quarterly). But you get a fixed discount off the regulated tariff whether it goes up or down.

Guide to picking an electricity retailer in Singapore

20% discount off tariff (20 cents/kWh) = 16 cents/kWh x 400kWh monthly electricity consumption = $64 (before GST)

Figures and graphs stated are for illustration purposes only.

On the other hand, if you opt for a plan that offers a Discount Off the Regulated Tariff, you will get a fixed discount off the regulated tariff (e.g. 20%) throughout the length of your contract.

That said, the overall sum you fork out may end up being higher than what homeowners on a Fixed Price Plan are charged as any increases in the regulated tariff rate (per quarter) will likewise be reflected in your monthly bill.

So, what’s the best plan for me?

Guide to picking an electricity retailer in Singapore

Interior Firm: Space Atelier

The answer: There’s no one-size-fits-all plan, but you can make the best decision by taking into account key factors and crunching the numbers based on the rates offered by the provider of your choice.

For instance, aside from how comfortable you are with being charged a fixed or variable rate, you may also wish to examine your consumption profile (how much electricity your household uses every month). If your consumption levels are high, it may be less risky to go with a Fixed Price plan because you will be better ‘protected’ against any sharp increases in price, should they occur.

If you are keen on taking up the Discount Off the Regulated Tariff plan, it may also be useful for you to take a look at the latest regulated tariff rates here, which are released by the SP Group every quarter.

Not keen on doing the math yourself? Check out the official Price Comparison tool where you get to compare the different standard price plans offered by the retailers! You can also rank the different price plans by your estimated monthly bill size.

Guide to picking an electricity retailer in Singapore

Interior Firm: PHD Posh Home Design

3. Read the Consumer Advisory and Fact Sheet & Confirm the Details

Before leaving your signature on the dotted line, make sure that you are fully aware of the key contractual terms of your chosen price plan. One way to do this is to ask for a Fact Sheet from your chosen retailer, which will list the most important terms, namely:

• Contract Price
• Contract Duration
• Security Deposit Amount, if any
• Early Termination Charges
• Auto-Renewal Clauses

Your retailer is also required to show you the Consumer Advisory for Open Electricity Market, which will outline the key things you need to know before signing up. And finally, remember to keep a copy of your contract for record-keeping purposes!

Guide to picking an electricity retailer in Singapore

Interior Firm: The Orange Cube

4. Making the Switch

One last step and you are done!

As part of the registration process, you may want to submit your last meter reading. You can either do this yourself by checking the first five digits (in black) listed on your electrical meter OR have the SP Group estimate it for you.

The advantage of doing it yourself? You will get a more accurate figure for your final bill as meters are read by SP Group once every two months.

Once that’s done, all you have to do is wait for confirmation from your provider, and you can start your new electricity plan, as early as 5 business days, after your retailer informs SP Group to make the switch!

This article is brought to you by Energy Market Authority.

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