Choosing The Cheapest Electricity Plan For Your Home

Just like all the mobile telcos and their data plans, the power is now in your hands to choose your own electricity supplier. Which can only mean one thing: cost savings!

If you didn’t already know, the Open Electricity Market (OEM) initiative has been in effect since 1st May this year. Households can choose from 12 electricity retailers from 3 types of price plans. Fixed-rate, discount off regulated tariff or non-standard plans. Of course, you can always choose to stick with the default SP Group, but why would you want to do that? These new suppliers definitely make more economic sense, as you’ll see if you read on.

How does it work?

It all starts with power generation companies who own power plants that generate electricity, which is distributed across Singapore on the national power grid operated by SP Group. Then in the wholesale electricity market, these companies bid for contracts to sell electricity to retailers in bulk, which then are sold to you and me.

Before, SP Group was the only one providing electricity for Singaporean households, but since the inception of the OEM (as part of Energy Market Authority (EMA) efforts to liberalise the market), we can now buy from retailers other than SP Group. And that’s why we now have 12 electricity retailers to choose from:

1. Best Electricity Supply
2. Diamond Energy Merchants
3. Geneco
4. iSwitch
5. Keppel Electric
6. OhmEnergy
7. PacificLight Energy
8. Sembcorp Power
9. Senoko Energy Supply
10. Sunseap Energy
11. Tuas Power Supply
12. Union Power

The regulated tariff is what SP group charges for your electricity, so switching to any of these plans with these retailers will already provide you with cheaper electricity.

Which begs the question, why can’t SP Group just lower the tariff? The quick answer is because they’re more of a provider, and don’t set the tariffs. Those are regulated by EMA to “recover the long-term costs of producing and delivering electricity to consumers”.

If you don’t care for the analysis and just want to cut to the chase here are the cheapest electricity retailers for the various plans:

1. FIXED PRICE PLAN: GENECO
2. DISCOUNT OFF THE REGULATED TARIFF PLAN: DIAMONd ENERGY MERCHANTS
3. Non-Standard Plan (Peak & Off-Peak): Keppel Electric

 

Note: For the purpose of the article, all calculations are based on the monthly average household consumption for a 4-room HDB flat (360 kWh) and the Q3 2019 regulated tariff of $0.2507/kWh.

Should you change your electricity supplier?

Why not? Like any competitive market, more choices (more supply) = lower prices. Before, we only had SP Group to choose from and had to pay according to the electricity tariff that changes every quarter. But now with the Open Electricity Market, we’re getting competitive pricing from retailers that should surely translate to a cheaper electricity bill. Everybody loves a good discount, right?

How do I switch electricity suppliers?

First, decide on which plans (fixed rate or discount off the regulated tariff) you want, followed by the duration of the contract. Finally, register with the retailer via their website. It’s that simple! The change should take effect as early as five business days after your retailer informs SP Group to make the switch.

The latest meter reading is also required for the switch, which your retailer will advise on how and when to submit it once the contract is signed.

1. Fixed-Rate Price Plans

Since these plans are not pegged to the regulated tariff, you only pay a fixed-rate for your electricity consumption throughout the entire contract duration.

Who’s it for: People who don’t mind committing to long-term contracts and want to lock down low rates in case it increases in the future. 

Calculation of monthly bill: Rate x monthly household electricity consumption.

Example using Geneco’s 6-month’s rate: $0.1762/kWh x 360 kWh = $63.43

FIXED-RATE PLANS
Company Contract Duration & Estimated Monthly Bill
No Contract 6 Month $/mth 1 Year $/mth 2 Year $/mth
Geneco $0.1762 $63.43 $0.1798 $64.73
iSwitch $0.1765 $63.54 $0.1776 $63.94
Pacific Light Energy $0.1739/kWh + $0.32/day (service fee) $0.1766 $63.58 $0.1798 $64.73
Union Power $0.1770 $63.72 $0.1770 $63.72
Sunseap Energy $0.1803 $64.91 $0.1845 $66.42 $0.1775 $63.90
Best Electricity Supply $0.2100 $75.60 $0.2050 $73.80 $0.1798 $64.73
Keppel Electric $0.1871 $67.36 $0.1798 $64.73
Sembcorp Power $0.1755/kWh + $0.33/day (service fee) $0.1798 $64.73
Senoko Energy Supply $0.1818 $65.45 $0.1798 $64.73
Tuas Power Supply $0.1798 $64.73
Ohm Energy $10.70/month + $0.1798 $0.1890 $68.04 $0.1890 $68.04 $0.1895 $68.22
Diamond Energy Merchants No fixed price plans
  • Surprisingly for a short 6-month contract, Geneco has the cheapest plan ($0.1762) with the lowest monthly cost ($63.43).
  • For one and two year contracts, iSwitch has the lowest rate at $0.1765 and $0.1776 respectively.

2. Discount Off the Regulated Tariff Plans

The regulated tariff is the price charged by SP group for supplying electricity to consumers. The price takes into account the cost of producing and delivering electricity and is adjusted quarterly to account for changes such as the price of fuel that’s used in generating electricity.

So instead of paying a fixed rate, you get to enjoy a fixed discount off the prevailing regulated tariff ($0.2507/kWh for Q3 2019) throughout the entire contract duration.

Who’s it for: People who don’t mind the quarterly change in the electricity tariffs (though according to EMA, it’s been stable for the last decade). After all, the tariff is supposed to be a “fair price” set by the EMA, so any X% discount off of it sounds pretty good already. 

Calculation of monthly bill: Discounted Rate x monthly household electricity consumption.

Example using Diamond Energy Merchant’s 1-year contact rate: (.75 x $0.2507/kwH) x 360 kWH= $67.69

DISCOUNT OFF THE REGULATED TARIFF PLAN (25.07c/kWh – Q3 2019)
Company Contract Duration & Estimated Monthly Bill
No Contract 6 Month $/mth 1 Year $/mth 2 Year $/mth
Diamond Energy Merchants 20%
21% – 4th Month Onwards 22% – 8th Month Onwards
25% $67.69
Ohm Energy 25% $67.69 25% $67.69
Sunseap Energy 23% $69.49 23% $69.49 23% $69.49
Union Power 23% $69.49 23% $69.49
iSwitch 22.80% $69.67 23% $69.49
Sembcorp Power 20.50% $71.75 22.50% $69.95
Best Electricity Supply 21%% $71.30 22% $70.40
Keppel Electric 22% $70.40
Pacific Light Energy 22% $70.40 22% $70.40
Geneco 22% $70.40
Tuas Power Supply 22% $70.40 22% $70.40
Senoko Energy Supply 18% $74.01 19% $73.10
  • Ohm Energy provides the best discounts (25% off) for short and long term contracts followed by Diamond Energy Merchants.
  • For long term plans (two years), Sunseap is the cheapest at 23%.

3. Non-Standard Plans (Peak & Off-Peak)

Not as common as the other two, only four companies offer non-standard plans. These plans come with a different sort of pricing system such as the peak and non-peak pricing. Different rates are applied to different time blocks, where it’s usually cheaper during the night.

Who’s it for: People who understand their electricity consumption and when they consume the most/least. So if you use most of your electricity either during peak or off peak hours, this will help lower your monthly electricity bill.

NON-STANDARD PLANS
Company Peak Off Peak
Pacific Light Energy 10% (7AM-11PM) 35% (11PM-7AM)
Keppel Electric $0.2020/kWh (7AM-11PM) $0.1616 (11AM-7PM)
Sembcorp Power $0.2140/kWh (7AM-7PM) $0.1865/kWh (7PM-7AM)
Geneco $0.2250/kWh
(Mon-Sat)
Free on Sunday
  • Pacific Light Energy, Keppel Electric and Sembcorp Power all offer peak and non-peak pricing but either at different time blocks or different pricing strategy. Choose the one that makes the most sense for your household.
  • Geneco offers a unique plan where your electricity is free on Sunday while charging a fixed-rate from Monday to Saturday.

Conclusion

In essence, fixed plans are great if you’re looking for price stability, though the downside is that there’s less benefit if the tariff falls. And if it does fall any further, however likely that is, discount off the regulated tariff plans will become very attractive since it’s pegged to the tariff.

Also to be clear, SP Group manages Singapore’s power grid which delivers electricity to all households. So even if you switch to another retailer, rest assured you’ll be getting the same reliable power you’ve been getting all these years.

Currently, though, all the offered prices are marginal but one thing’s for sure — you’ll be paying less than what you are now if you make the switch to another retailer.

Things to note

  • The prices of plans shown on retailers’ websites may not reflect other charges such as admin, security deposit, transmission loss factor, carbon tax, paper bill fee and others. So make sure you carefully read the fact sheet and the terms and conditions that it comes with.
  • Some plans such as the non-standard ones require an advanced meter to be installed, which costs $40.
  • SP Group runs the national power grid, so switching to a retailer will not affect your electricity supply.
  • It’s not compulsory to switch to a retailer.
  • Should your retailer cease to operate, you’ll automatically be transferred back to SP Group and its electricity priced at the regulated tariff. A notification will be provided to inform you of the situation.

For more FAQs, click here.

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