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5 ways the Open Electricity Market can work for you

Learn about your options at Energy Market Authority roadshows.
Learn about your options at Energy Market Authority roadshows.PHOTO: ENERGY MARKET AUTHORITY
Electricity retailers will offer two types of standard price plans – Fixed Price Plan and Discount Off the Regulated Tariff Plan.
Electricity retailers will offer two types of standard price plans – Fixed Price Plan and Discount Off the Regulated Tariff Plan.PHOTO: ENERGY MARKET AUTHORITY

The Open Electricity Market provides you with more choices and flexibility when it comes to buying electricity. We highlight what you should know to help you make an informed decision

Since November last year, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) has been progressively opening up the electricity market to allow households in Singapore to have more options on who they wish to buy electricity from.

What’s not to like about the Open Electricity Market (OEM)? There are potential cost savings, freebies and reward programmes for those who make the switch.

But for consumers used to purchasing electricity from SP Group, you may wonder how OEM works.

Here’s a run-down on the top 5 things you should do or know about the initiative:

1. Learn about your options

Different retailers operate differently and are largely categorised into two groups: (a) those who also generate electricity besides selling electricity and (b) those who only sell electricity.

Retailers also differentiate themselves through the products or services that they offer. There are a handful of green retailers which offer either carbon-neutral or solar-generated electricity. Some have partnered banks and insurance companies to offer incentives while others have arranged to bill their customers through SP Group for electricity as well.

Click here  for the latest list of participating retailers.

Remember, buying electricity through SP Group at the regulated tariff is also an option. It is not compulsory for you to switch to a retailer if you are happy with the current arrangement.

2. Choose from two standard price plans

Retailers will offer two types of standard price plans – Fixed Price Plan and Discount Off the Regulated Tariff Plan.

If you choose a Fixed Price Plan, you will pay a fixed rate throughout your contract period. This rate can be higher or lower than the regulated tariff. Such price plans are suitable for those who prefer price stability.

Source: Open Electricity Market website. For illustration purposes only

For the Discount Off the Regulated Tariff Plan, the rate you pay may change quarterly in tandem with the prevailing regulated tariff. However, you get a fixed discount off the regulated tariff. Hence, such plans are suitable for those who do not mind their rates changing every quarterly so long as they are lower than the regulated tariff.

Source: Open Electricity Market website. For illustration purposes only

3. Shop smartly by using the Price Comparison Tool

You can use the Price Comparison Tool on the Open Electricity Market website to compare the standard price plans offered by retailers. By standard price plans, we are referring to plans that come with all-inclusive electricity rates and go by six-, 12- or 24-month contracts.

If you choose to go with a non-standard price plan, it is best to approach your preferred retailer to find out more before signing up. Also remember, retailers can choose to change their electricity rates or impose additional charges in the contracts (e.g. transmission loss factor) as part of their non-standard price plans.

Tip: To know if you are signing up for a standard or non-standard price plan, read the price plan’s Fact Sheet from the retailer.

4. Your security deposit is protected

Some retailers may collect a security deposit while others do not. For those who collect security deposits, they are required to safeguard them and return the deposit to you at the end of the contract or if they stop selling electricity.

5. Read the Fact Sheet and Consumer Advisory

The most important things you need to take note are in these two documents. Do read your preferred price plan’s Fact Sheet for the important contractual terms you should know: price, contract duration, security deposit, early contract termination charges and auto-renewal clauses. The Consumer Advisory contains the key things you should know before switching.

If you switch to a retailer, know that you can still choose to go with another retailer or even back to SP Group at the end of your contract. Otherwise, find out if there are any early termination fees or other charges that may apply if you plan to switch before your contract expires.

For more on the Open Electricity Market, visit the Open Electricity Market website or call 1800-233-800.