The liberalisation of Singapore’s retail electricity market has been a gradual one. Starting from 2001, the electricity market has been progressively opened up by the Energy Market Authority (EMA). A new milestone in this journey was reached when EMA announced the extension of the Open Electricity Market (OEM) to all consumers throughout Singapore, starting November 1, 2018.
What Encouraged This Extension?
The success of the soft launch of OEM in Jurong is the key reason why it is now being extended islandwide. Going by the claim of the Trade and Industry Minister, Chan Chun Sing, the take-up rate in Jurong was a humongous 30%+, which was more than the take-up rate in any of the cities or countries in which the electricity market opened up. Moreover, the prices paid by the households who switched were 20% below the regulated tariff, which catalysed the islandwide extension.
How Will the Open Electricity Market Extend Islandwide?
The rollout will happen zone by zone starting from the first zone comprising of areas with postal codes starting with 58-78 (Woodgrove, Woodlands, etc.) on November 1, 2018, and then progressively extending to the next zone with postal codes beginning with 53-57, 79-80 (Seletar) and 82-83 on January 1, 2019.
The rollout for the third zone consists of areas with postal codes starting with 34-52 and 81 (Changi) – commencing on March 1, 2019. The initiative will launch in the last zone from May 1, 2019, involving areas with the postal codes starting with 1 to 33 (Marina, Lavender, Queenstown, etc.).
What Kind Of Plans Will Retailers Offer?
Retailers will offer two kinds of standard plans: a Fixed Price Plan wherein consumers have to pay a fixed price throughout the contract duration, irrespective of their deviation from the regulated tariffs.
Another type of plan, Discount off the Regulated Tariff Plan, entitles consumers to a fixed discount on the existing regulated tariffs.
A number of retailers may also offer some non-standard plans such as Peak and Off-peak Price Plan. This plan had less than 1% take-up rate during soft launch in Jurong, and was hence, no longer offered as a standard plan. Those are interested should contact individual electricity providers to find out more.
What About Consumers Who Don’t Want to Switch?
Such consumers need not take any action. They will get the same electricity supply from SP Group. SP Group will continue to operate the power grid and supply electricity throughout the island. Businesses with an average monthly electricity consumption of fewer than 4,000 kWh, and residential households, can continue buying electricity from SP Group at the regulated tariffs.
Thirteen retailers will be competing in the retail electricity market in Singapore. If consumers ever change their mind, they can choose their plan by comparing prices and switching to a retailer that suits them and fulfils their requirements.
The liberalisation of the electricity market has undoubtedly provided consumers with an unprecedented level of flexibility.
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