Your utilities bill might be higher this month. Here’s why.

Why not send in your own utilities meter readings?

Sulaiman Daud | Sponsored | June 16, 2020, 05:00 PM

Your friends and family were not the only ones who couldn’t visit your house during the circuit breaker period.

Your friendly neighbourhood utilities meter reader also did not pay a visit from April 7 to June 1, keeping with the safe-distancing measures.

But if the meter reader didn’t visit your premises, how will your bill be calculated?

How are your utilities bill for April and May 2020 calculated

For households with an advanced electricity meter, or an AMI meter, you are billed on actual consumption.

For households that go without, here’s how it works. The estimation of bills are for customers of electricity retailers and SP Group.

Usually, readings will be taken in alternate months. If a meter reader visits in January, he’ll be back in March.

Your household’s average daily consumption will be calculated, based on the previous two readings in January and March.

Then in order to work out the bill for April, this average will be multiplied by 30, as April has 30 days. Multiply the same thing by 31 to get the bill for May.

Over/underestimation of a bill

Now you may be thinking -- this may not be entirely accurate.

After all, since it was the Circuit Breaker period, you may have spent lots more time at home, using the computer, keeping the radio and the fan turned on while you worked. So your actual electricity usage in April and May may be higher than in the previous months.

But maybe the opposite is true. Perhaps you were running a business, and you had to close the premises due to Circuit Breaker measures. So you used less electricity in April and May than in the previous months.

Circuit Breaker ended on June 1, so meter readers can now visit households and check how much you actually used in April and May.

If it turned out you used more than the estimated amount, then the extra bit will be added on to your bill for June.

But if you used less, the difference will be deducted from your bill for June. Here’s how it works:

Submit your own readings

Now if you’re thinking that this all sounds rather complicated, there’s another option.

Instead of waiting for the meter reader to visit, you could simply send the readings to SP Group yourself. It’s easier than it seems, and there are five ways to do it.

1. SP Utilities App

Download the app from spgrp.sg/mobileapp. Once you’ve done that, go to “Explore” and select “Submit meter.”

2. SP Utilities Portal

Log on to the portal at spgrp.sg/UPortal. Go to “Usage”, then select “Submit Meter Readings.”

3. WhatsApp

Take a photo of your meter and send it to 8482 8636. Make sure that both the meter reading and the meter number are clear.

4. Email

Send an email with your meter readings to [email protected]

5. Automated Phone System

Call 1800 222 2333 to submit your meter reading through the automated option.

You can submit your readings up to three days before the next scheduled meter reading date, which you can find on your bill.

This way, you can submit accurate readings instead of waiting for the estimation and the adjustment in the June bill.

Support from Singapore's Budget in 2020

Singapore’s Fortitude Budget, announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on May 26, included some help for households.

Each household with at least one Singapore citizen will receive a S$100 Solidarity Utilities Credit.

If your electricity consumption is billed directly by an electricity retailer and not SP Group, the S$100 credit will only be used to offset the non-electricity charges (water, gas and refuse collection) billed by SP Group.

Any remaining credit will be used to offset charges in your SP bill in the subsequent months.

In addition, the GST Voucher - U-Save for 2020 will benefit HDB households with at least one Singapore citizen. Depending on the size of your HDB flat, you can expect to receive anywhere from S$480 to S$1,000. Payments will be made in April, July and October 2020 and January 2021.

This sponsored article by SP Group made the writer check his house meters for the first time in his life.

Top image from SP Group and Next 1000 Days Facebook pages.