Couple's HDB flat utility bill goes from S$120 to S$1,184 per month, seeks clarity from SP Group


Nigel Chua | January 28, 2021, 10:55 AM

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Editor's note: This article has been updated as the homeowner has requested anonymity.

A family in Singapore were shocked when they received a S$1,184.66 utilities bill for January 2021 — a 1,000 per cent increase.

The matter was made public after it was put up on the Complaint Singapore Facebook group by the homeowner, who took to the forum to air his grievances.

Clarifying that he had not been supplying power for "a block party", the homeowner said that he lived in a four-room HDB flat with his spouse and used only "the usual appliances".

Jump from S$100-120 to S$1,184.66

According to the homeowner, his monthly bill had been in the range of S$100 to S$120 for some time.

He had also been paying his bills on time.

He says that SP Group told him that the higher-than-expected bill was caused by a meter reading in January 2021.

Apparently, the meter reading indicated that he had been under-charged for 10 months.

No recent meter reading done

A screenshot of the homeowner's latest utilities bill showed that his electrical bill was relatively much lower than the bill for January 2021, and had been billed based on estimates, at least since August 2020.

The water bill, however, had been billed according to actual meter readings in September and November 2020, and for January 2021 as well.

Estimation for utilities bills a common practice

Electricity meter readings are typically taken in alternate months, SP group explained previously.

Billing on the months without meter readings is estimated based on the previous readings.

This applies to households that do not have an advanced electricity meter, which allows billing based on actual consumption.

SP Group announced in June 2020 that due to the Circuit Breaker restrictions, anomalies in electricity bills were to be expected.

However, as the homeowner's post highlights, having no readings taken for an entire 10-month period means that the anomalous bill for January 2021 came as "a shocker".

He questioned whether SP Group thought that "it was okay to lump 10 months worth of electricity usage into one bill and expect the home owner to pay".

Mothership has reached out to SP Group for more information.

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Top image via Google Maps street view and Complaint Singapore on Facebook

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