Understand Singapore’s Open Electricity Market (OEM)

By  //  July 3, 2020

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Completely clueless as to which electricity supplier to choose from? Or wishing to learn more? Look no further as we explain to you about the OEM and the different plans that are available to you.

Completely clueless as to which electricity supplier to choose from? Or wishing to learn more? Look no further as we explain to you about the OEM and the different plans that are available to you. 

Understanding the Open Electricity Market

What is OEM? It is an initiative set up by the Energy Market Authority to help open up the electricity market and welcome new competitors.

This means that as an end consumer (you), there are more choices and flexible plans out there for you to choose from when it comes to buying electricity.

The ultimate goal is to help lower your monthly expenses on electricity. There are more than twelve OEM retailers here in Singapore that can offer competitive pricing and roll out various promotions to help lower your bills. 

OEM was slowly introduced to the public in Singapore in the last two years. It is now available to all, with a focus mostly on households according to their zones.

Consumers are then given the chance to decide which OEM retailer they would like to purchase from, as well as a plan that best serves their needs. If not, they can simply remain with the existing supplier, SP Group. 

How to choose the best retailer?

When choosing a potential retailer, it is good to know how SP Power sets the quarterly electricity tariff prices and the different factors that result in the price fluctuations. 

OEM has three main plans:

1. Fixed Price Plans

2. Peak/Off-Peak Plans

2. Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plans

Determining which retailer is the best ultimately depends on how much electricity your household consumes. If the consumption rate is beneath the national mean, it is a good idea to pick the Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plan. 

How do you calculate the quarterly tariff price?

The tariff is set up by the SP Services to which they review quarterly. This undergoes regulation by the EMA to reflect an accurate cost of electricity. There are two components when it comes to the tariff: fuel and non-fuel cost. 

Fuel costs are linked to the prices of natural gas and are charged in terms of the market conditions worldwide. This is especially so as almost all of our electricity is created through the use of natural gas imported from overseas. Here is a handy guide if you want to learn more about how the singapore power tariff is calculated.

Non-fuel cost refers to the cost of creating and delivering electricity to households. For example: 

■ Power generating cost: the maintenance and manpower costs incurred by power stations. 

■ Power System Operation and Market Administration Fees: Cost of operation for the power grid and administering the wholesale electricity market. 

Deciding on your electricity retailer: Things to look out for  

Always ask to see the Consumer Advisory and Fact Sheet. Look out for the following things:

■ Carbon tax

■ Security Deposit

■ Paper Bill fee

■ AMI meter installations fees

■ Administration fees

■ Auto-renewal clauses

■ Transmission loss factor

■ Late payment fees

■ Whether U-Save GST vouchers can be used

Be sure to always ask if they have certain partnership deals. For example, there are exclusive sign-up promotions with City Gas through Keppel Electric. 

How to make the switch?

Be sure to always ask if they have certain partnership deals. For example, there are exclusive sign-up promotions with City Gas through Keppel Electric.

Do it with three simple steps:

1. Do a study on all the different price plans the various OEM retailers offer. 

2. Once you have decided on the OEM retailer of your choice, contact them, and enquire more about the plan that you are interested in. Request to see their Fact Sheet and Consumer Advisory. 

3. After picking a plan, sign up with the OEM retailer of your choice and they will help you make a switch with SP Group. 

Will there be any electricity disruption when I make the switch?

No there will not. SP Group will continue to supply you with power up even as the switch is being made. All electricity retailers are only retailers; SP Group is still the main supplier of electricity.

How does billing work after the switch?

This varies and usually depends on the OEM retailer that you are working with after the switch has been made. As such, it is good to check with your OEM retailer on how they will proceed with this. 

If your chosen retailer decides to bill you straight, there will be two utility bills coming your way every month. One is solely for electricity with the OEM retailer and the other is for gas, water, and refuse. 

If the retailer decides to bill you through the SP Group, things will not be much different and everything will still be billed together. 

Are there extra fees to be made after the switch?

In the event you decide that you do not wish to buy your electricity from the OEM retailer and would like to go back to purchasing from SP Group, you can inform your current OEM retailer. Afterwhich, the latter will help you coordinate with SP Group to arrange the switch.

However, it is important to check if there are any conditions to be fulfilled when it comes to terminating your plan early. There could be certain charges on lock-in contracts. 

Some recommended plans:

Best Discount Off Regulation Plan in Singapore 2020 (six or twelve-month)

We suggest looking at Ohm Energy Pte Ltd. they provide you with a good 25% off regulated tariffs for this plan. For newcomers, they offer you a three months trial period to determine if you would like to continue. If you decide to discontinue your patronage with them, you can end the service without being charged an early termination fee. 

Best Peak and Off-Peak Plans in Singapore 2020

Check out PacificLight Energy off-peak plan. They have a 30% off regulated tariff and it is by far one of the best offers in the market.

However, this rate depends on the regulated tariff rate. As such, if you think that the regulated tariff rate will drop in the future, try out this plan!

Best Fixed Price Plan in Singapore 2020

When it comes to buying electricity, do not only look for the cheapest option available to you. Instead, make sure that you are clear of all the conditions and factors that attribute to this price and that you are serious about making the switch.

Does a fixed rate of 17.53/kWh with an additional 32 cents/day and absolutely no conditions to keep you in a contract interest you? Check out PacificLight Energy Pte Ltd!

There is no minimum number of months to which you have to buy electricity from them once you have signed a contract. However, unless you use recurring card payment, you must pay a security deposit.

Conclusion

When it comes to buying electricity, do not only look for the cheapest option available to you. Instead, make sure that you are clear of all the conditions and factors that attribute to this price and that you are serious about making the switch. 

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