Only 34% of S’pore households switched electricity retailer even though there are cheaper options
Consumers might be uncertain about newer players.
Since May 2019, all Singapore households have had the option of switching electricity retailers, from SP Group to one of the 13 retailers on the Open Electricity Market (OEM).
However, as of June 2019, it seems that only 34 per cent of household consumers have chosen to make the switch, according to Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.
Chan: Switching process is “simple and accessible to all”
Chan was responding to a Parliamentary question by Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC Pritam Singh on August 6.
Apart from asking about the proportion of consumers who have switched electricity retailers, Pritam also asked if the Energy Market Authority is actively considering a simpler sign-up procedure for low-income households.
“The switching process for OEM consumers was designed to be simple and accessible to all, regardless of income or household types,” said Chan.
Consumers who wish to make the switch can do so online, over the phone, as well as at the retailer’s roadshows or physical stores. The chosen retailer then works directly with SP Group to make the switch.
Chan also cited an Energy Market Authority (EMA) survey that showed 98 per cent of consumers who switched to a retailer found the switching process easy.
He added that consumers can approach the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) or the Small Claims Tribunal to settle contractual disputes.
Can be cheaper to switch electricity retailer
One cited reason for not switching retailers is consumer uncertainty about new players and whether they can provide a consistent supply of electricity.
What consumers should know is that these retailers get the same electricity and supply it on the same grid as SP Group.
Switching electricity retailers can also be cheaper, depending on the type of plan you choose.
Currently, the Open Electricity Market offers two types of plans.
The first are the Fixed Price Plans where consumers pay a constant electricity rate throughout the contract duration, which can range from six months to two years.
This electricity rate may be higher or lower than the regulated tariff (what is charged by SP Group) during the contract duration, as the regulated tariff is reviewed every quarter.
The second category of plans are the Discount Off the Regulated Tariff Plans.
These provide a fixed discount off the regulated tariff, but the electricity rates will change when the regulated tariff changes every quarter.
For more on the open electricity market and how you can save on your bills, check these out:
Top image via Wikipedia.