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Singapore's open electricity market to be extended islandwide in phases from Nov 1
THE open electricity market will be extended to all consumers in Singapore, zone by zone, starting from Nov 1, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) announced on Friday.
In this final phase of electricity market liberalisation, some 1.3 million household accounts and 67,000 business accounts will have the option of buying electricity from any of 12 authorised retailers.
The islandwide rollout follows the soft launch of the open electricity market in Jurong in April, involving 120,000 household and business accounts, of which more than 30 per cent switched. Households who switched paid an electricity rate 20 per cent lower than the regulated tariff on average.
The take-up rate in Jurong is higher than that seen in other cities and countries which have opened up their electricity markets, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing told reporters on Friday.
The Energy Market Authority has been progressively opening up the electricity market since 2001. As of July, more than half of the 95,000 eligible business accounts have switched to a retailer, accounting for 77 per cent of total electricity demand.
The islandwide rollout will happen progressively across four zones: postal codes beginning with 58 to 78 on Nov 1; postal codes starting with 53 to 57, 79 to 80, and 82 to 83 on Jan 1, 2019; those starting with 34 to 52 and 81 on March1, 2019; and the remaining postal codes starting with 1 to 33 on May 1, 2019.
Retailers must offer at least one of two standard price plans: a fixed price plan, and a plan offering a fixed discount off the regulated tariff. They can also offer other non-standard price plans.
Over the last six months in Jurong, the fixed price plans have yielded lower rates than the discount plans, said EMA in response to media queries.
A peak and off-peak price plan, offered during the Jurong soft launch, is no longer one of the standard price plans due to a low take-up rate of under 1 per cent in Jurong. It may still be offered as a non-standard plan by retailers.
Consumers who choose to remain with SP Group and buy electricity at the regulated tariff will not need to take any further action. There is no deadline for switching to a retailer. Consumers will receive the same electricity supply regardless of their supplier as SP Group will continue to operate the national power grid and deliver electricity islandwide.
A price comparison tool is available at this website, which allows consumers to compare the retailers' standard price plans.
If a retailer exits the open electricity market for any reason, their customers will be transferred to SP Group by default. Businesses with an average monthly consumption of less than 4,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh), and all households, will buy electricity from SP Group at the regulated tariff. Businesses with an average monthly consumption of at least 4,000 kWh will buy electricity indirectly from the wholesale electricity market through SP Group at the wholesale prices. Consumers who want to be transferred to another retailer will have to make a request to their new retailer. (see amendment note)
Four retailers from the soft launch - Diamond Electric, Red Dot Power, Sun Electric and Sunseap - will not be part of the nationwide launch but will continue to honour contracts with their existing Jurong customers, who total about 500. They can also continue to sell electricity to businesses with an average monthly consumption of at least 2,000 kWh. These retailers "have various reasons for not participating at this stage", including reassessing their business plans or developing certain products or platforms, said the Energy Market Authority.
Amendment note: An earlier version of the story incorrectly said that if a retailer exits the open electricity market, consumers who want to be transferred to another retailer will have to make a request to SP Group, based on a media briefing by the Energy Market Authority. The Energy Market Authority has clarified that consumers will have to make a request to their new retailer of choice instead.