Open Electricity Market (OEM): Which Electricity Retailer Is The Cheapest in Singapore?
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Open Electricity Market (OEM): Which Electricity Retailer Is The Cheapest in Singapore?

Ming Feng
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Breaking News: Electricity Tariff to Fall 5.1% From April to June

Electricity tariffs are set to decrease 24.24 cents to 23.02 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for April to June 2020.

Or 24.63 cents per kWh if you want to factor in GST.

In simpler words, it means that if you live in a 4-room HDB flat.

You can expect your average monthly bill to go down by S$3.89.

Which is not a lot, but also not bad lah

According to SP Group, this is due to lower energy costs and is a move which is in line with the recently announced Resilience Budget.

We’re pretty sure that the Open Electricity Market (OEM) will factor this announcement into their prices and adjust them accordingly.

(fingers crossed)

If you’re wondering, “What is OEM?”

Just know that it means that you can switch to an electricity retailer and save money on your electricity bill.

Interested?

Find out who is the cheapest electricity retailer and how to make the switch!


TL;DR: Which Is the Cheapest Open Electricity Market (OEM) Plan in Singapore?

Cheapest Fixed Price Plan

Contract Length For Fixed Price PlanWho provides the cheapest plan?
No ContractPacificLight
6 MonthsSembcorp Power
1 YearUnion Power
2 YearsUnion Power
3 YearsiSwitch

Cheapest Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plan

Contract Length For Discount Off Tariff PlanWho provides the cheapest plan?
No ContractDiamond Electric
6 MonthsOhm Energy, Union Power
1 YearOhm Energy, Diamond Electric, PacificLight
2 YearsUnion Power

Cheapest Peak And Off-Peak Plan

Contract Length For Peak and Off-Peak PlanWho provides the cheapest plan?
Cheapest Peak and Off-Peak PriceKeppel Electric
DOTPacificLight

Too many options?

Want to switch but don’t know which?

Why not use our FREE Open Electricity Market Comparison Tool?

All it takes is a couple of clicks and you’ll be able to find out how much you can save!

Find Me The Best Electricity Plan Now!

If you’re satisfied with your choice, you can even apply for the plan immediately!


Why Did You Guys Spend So Much Time Comparing The OEM Retailers?

Well… if there’s one thing which Singaporeans care deeply about.

It’s saving money.

Especially when it comes to utilities like electricity.

In fact, when we first wrote this article and did a comparison between the Open Electricity Market (OEM) electricity retailers, even the Straits Times picked it up.

#weirdflexbutokay

We then figured that a comparison tool might be easier to find the best open electricity market plan for the Seedly Community and decided to build that.

Totally NOT out of selfish reasons, of course.

It’s not like we used it to find out how to lower our electricity bill and then thought that maybe everyone else can benefit too…

Editor’s note: (rolls eyes)

What Is the Open Electricity Market (OEM)?

Energy Market Authority Logo

In October 2017, the Electricity Market Authority (EMA) first announced the Open Electricity Market (OEM) initiative in a bid to liberalise and encourage innovation in the power industry.

Fast forward to May 2019, all households in Singapore can choose to switch from SP Group to their preferred electricity provider.

So… Who Are the Electricity Retailers in the OEM?

As of 1 April 2020, there are a total of 12 electricity retailers in the market:

  • Best Electricity Supply
  • Diamond Electric
  • Geneco by Seraya Energy
  • iSwitch
  • Keppel Electric
  • Ohm Energy
  • PacificLight Energy
  • Sembcorp Power
  • Senoko Energy Supply
  • Sunseap Energy Group
  • Tuas Power Supply
  • Union Power


What Types of Electricity Price Plans Do They Offer?

 Ah…

Now you’re asking the right questions.

Most OEM retailers offer a selection of 3 different price plans.

Note: the 22.15 cents/kWh (before GST) electricity tariff is just for illustration

Fixed Price Plan

This is similar to SP Group’s electricity plan.

You sign a contract with them and pay a fixed rate for whatever amount of power used.

For obvious reasons, all of the electricity retailers are offering fixed prices plans which are competitively priced (read: lower than SP).

Discount Off Regulated Tariff (DORT) Plan

The price you pay is pegged to the regulated tariff announced by EMA, albeit at a discount.

Because SP Group’s price plan is always determined by EMA’s regulated tariff.

This means that you’ll always be paying less than what SP Group would charge you if you’re on a DORT plan.

Non-Standard Plan

These include peak and off-peak packages where the electricity retailer charges higher prices during peak hours and lower prices during off-peak.

Ideal if you are usually awake during off-peak hours (read: are a night-owl).


How To Choose The Cheapest Open Electricity Market (OEM) Plan

Step 1: Use the Seedly Open Electricity Market Comparison Tool

Seedly Open Electricity Market Comparison Tool

That’s it.

It’s that simple.

You can even read real user reviews, left by our friendly Seedly community, about the various retailers to help you make your decision.

That way, you can get more insights from like-minded Singaporeans with regard to:

  • user experience
  • customer service
  • billing issues (if any)
  • pro and cons of the retailer

The tool also gives lets you know if there are any credit card deals and promotions which you can use to save even more!

Once you’ve got an idea of which plan you want, head on over to the retailer’s website and download the respective plan’s factsheet to READ THE FINE PRINT.

Pro tip: the Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plan seems to be the most popular amongst the Seedly Community


How Much Do Singaporeans Spend on Electricity Every Month?

Singaporeans are subjected to Electricity Tariff, which is regulated by the Energy Market Authority (EMA).

For Q1 2020 (1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020), the electricity tariff is 24.24 cents per kWh (excluding GST). With GST, that will be 25.94 cents per kWh.

The Electricity Tariff is made up of 4 main components:

Electricity Tariff ComponentsPriceHow Often Is It Reviewed?
Market Administration and Power System Operation Fee

(Paid to Energy Company and Power System Operator)
0.06 cents/kWhAnnually
Market Support Services Fee (MSS)0.40 cents/kWhAnnually
Network Cost5.44 cents/kWhAnnually
Energy Costs18.34cents/kWhQuarterly
Electricity Tariff
Source: SP Group

The sum of the 4 components makes up your Electricity Tariff, which will be what the consumer pays for their monthly electricity bill.


Average Electricity Consumption and Electricity Bill of Singaporeans

If you’d like to know how much you can potentially save if you switched to an OEM retailer, let’s have a look at how much Singaporeans spend on electricity per month, on average.

Using the current Q1 2020 (1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020) electricity tariff rate: 25.94 cents per kWh (including GST).

Property TypeAverage Electricity Consumption Per Month (kWh)
*as of Jul 2019
Average Cost of Electricity Per Month (incl. GST)
HDB 1-Room126$32.68
HDB 2-Room168$43.58
HDB 3-Room250$64.85
HDB 4-Room340$84.80
HDB 5-Room396$102.72
HDB Executive484$125.55
Apartment531$137.74
Terrace804$208.56
Semi-Detached1084$281.19
Bungalow2255$584.95

Which Electricity Retailer’s Fixed Price Plan Is The Cheapest?

With 12 retailers, choosing one can be quite a chore, but we are here to help by comparing all the plans they have for households.

In general, we noted that in general Fixed Price Plans are cheaper than what you would pay for if you’re paying SP based on the current electricity tariff.

CompanyFixed Rate Plan
6 Months1 Year Contract2 Years Contract3 Years Contract
Union Power-$0.1760/kWh$0.1770/kWh-
iSwitchNo Contract: $0.1765/kWh$0.1761/kWh$0.1776/kWh$0.1787/kWh
Sunseap$0.1803/kWh$0.1845/kWh$0.1775/kWh

$0.2161/kWh
(50% Clean Energy)

$0.2301/kWh
(100% Clean Energy)
-
Tuas Power-$0.1798/kWh
(18 Months)
$0.1798/kWh$0.1798/kWh
PacificLightNo Contract: $0.1739/kWh

(+$0.32/day daily charge)
$0.1766/kWh (Online Exclusive)

$0.1865/kWh
$0.1798/kWh$0.1818/kWh
Sembcorp PowerNo Contract: $0.1755/kWh$0.1810/kWh$0.1810/kWh-
Geneco$0.1762/kWh$0.1926/kWh$0.1798/kWh$0.1798/kWh
Keppel Electric-$0.1810/kWh$0.1830/kWh$0.1830/kWh
Senoko Energy-$0.1818/kWh$0.1783/kWh (Online Exclusive)

$0.1798/kWh
-
Ohm Energy$0.1890/kWh

No Contract: $10.70 per month + $0.1798/kWh
$0.1890kWh$0.1890kWh-
Best Electricity $0.2100/kWh

No Contract: $10.70 per month + $0.1736/kWh
$0.2050/kWh$0.1798/kWh
-
Diamond ElectricDoes not provide fixed price plan
  • Ohm Energy and Sembcorp Power provide No Contract plans at $0.1798/kWh and $0.1739/kWh respectively
  • Geneco has the cheapest 6 months plan at $0.1762/kWh
  • Union Power is the most economical when it comes to the 1-year and 2-years plan at $0.1760/kWh and $0.1770/kWh respectively
  • iSwitch is the cheapest for 3 years contract at $0.1787/kWh

Which Electricity Retailer’s Discount Off The Regulated Tariff Plan Is The Cheapest?

If you’d like to take a bet on the electricity tariff, then the Discount Off The Regulated Tariff (DORT) plan might be more your thing.

DORT plans charges you by taking a percentage off the cost from the EMA stipulated electricity tariff for the quarter.

CompanyDiscount Off Tariff Plan
6 Months1 Year Contract2 Years Contract
Ohm Energy25% off25% off-
Union Power25% off-25% off
Diamond ElectricNo Contract:
21% off
22% (4th month onwards)
23%(8th month onwards)
25% off-
PacificLight-25% off22.50% off
Sunseap23% off23% off23% off

15% off
(50% Clean Energy)

10% off
(100% Clean Energy)
iSwitch-22.8% off23% off
Sembcorp Power-22.50% off22.50% off
Best Electricity -21% off22% off
Geneco--22% off
Keppel Electric--22% off
Tuas Power18% off-22% off
Senoko Energy-18% off19% off
  • Diamond Electric offers a No-contract plan with 20% discount off tariff
  • For short-term 6 months contract, Ohm Energy and Union Power is the cheapest with 25% off
  • Ohm Energy is also the cheapest for the 1-year contract with 25% discount off tariff
  • For 2 year contract, Union Power is the cheapest with 25.00% off.

Which Electricity Retailer’s Peak And Off-Peak Plan Is The Cheapest?

For most retailers, off-peak period is defined as 11pm to 7am.

So if you’re a night owl or do most of your work in the wee hours of the night, then the Peak And Off-Peak Plan might be better for you.

Not many retailers offer this as consumers would have to get an extra meter installed to monitor electricity activity.

CompanyPeak and off-peak plans
PeakOff Peak
PacificLight10% off tariff
(7am to 11pm)
35% off tariff
(11pm to 7am)
Keppel Electric$0.2044/kWh
(7am to 11pm)
$0.1634/kWh
(11pm to 7am)
Sembcorp Power$0.2140/kWh
(7am - 7pm)
$0.1865/kWh
(7pm - 7am)
GenecoDoes not offer Peak and off-peak plans
Tuas PowerDoes not offer Peak and off-peak plans
iSwitchDoes not offer Peak and off-peak plans
Best Electricity Does not offer Peak and off-peak plans
Senoko EnergyDoes not offer Peak and off-peak plans
Ohm EnergyDoes not offer Peak and off-peak plans
SunseapDoes not offer Peak and off-peak plans
Union PowerDoes not offer Peak and off-peak plans
Diamond ElectricDoes not offer Peak and off-peak plans
  • PacificLight offers a discount off tariff for peak and off-peak plan
  • Geneco has an interesting peak and off-peak plan where electricity on Sunday is FREE
  • Keppel Electricity is the cheapest for peak rates
  • Should a consumer chooses to go with Peak and Off-peak plan, they may need to install a smart meter to track their electricity consumption every half an hour
  • The meter installation fee costs $40 (before GST)

How Accurate Is EMA’s Retailer Ratings?

In a recent attempt to help residential consumers make a better decision when choosing their electricity retailer, The Energy Market Authority (EMA) introduced a customer satisfaction rating for each retailer. It is done using a 5-point rating scale (very much like the one Seedly started Singapore on).

To help Singaporeans make an even smarter decision on the best Electricity Retailer to choose from, we decide to display both our rating with that of EMA’s, to give you a better idea.

RetailersRating on Seedly ReviewsRating on EMAReviews Source
Best Electricity4.7/5 Stars3/5 Starshttps://seedly.sg/reviews/open-electricity-market/best-electricity
Diamond Electric4.9/5 StarsRating Not Availablehttps://seedly.sg/reviews/open-electricity-market/diamond-electric
Geneco4.6/5 Stars3.5/5 Starshttps://seedly.sg/reviews/open-electricity-market/geneco
iSwitch4.2/5 Stars3/5 Starshttps://seedly.sg/reviews/open-electricity-market/iswitch
Keppel Electric4.1/5 Stars3.5/5 Starshttps://seedly.sg/reviews/open-electricity-market/keppel-electric
Ohm Energy4.9/5 Stars4/5 Starshttps://seedly.sg/reviews/open-electricity-market/ohm-electricity
PacificLight4.8/5 Stars3.5/5 Stars https://seedly.sg/reviews/open-electricity-market/pacificlight
Sembcorp Power4.6/5 Stars3.5/5 Starshttps://seedly.sg/reviews/open-electricity-market/sembcorp-power
Senoko Energy 4.6/5 Stars3.5/5 Starshttps://seedly.sg/reviews/open-electricity-market/senoko-energy
Sunseap Energy3/5 Stars4/5 Starshttps://seedly.sg/reviews/open-electricity-market/sunseap
Tuas Power4.9/5 Stars4/5 Starshttps://seedly.sg/reviews/open-electricity-market/tuas-power
Union Power5/5 StarsRating Not Availablehttps://seedly.sg/reviews/open-electricity-market/union-power

Some Commonly Asked Questions About The OEM

1. Why Are Electricity Retailers Able Charge Lower For Electricity Than SP Group?

You’re probably going, “WALAO, has SP Group been overcharging me ALL THESE YEARS?!”

Not exactly.

The regulated tariff takes into account the cost of producing and delivering electricity which includes the cost of building and operating power plants as well as maintaining the power grid.

The rates offered by retailers, on the other hand, reflect current market conditions and the short-term costs of producing electricity.

If the current market conditions see excess in supply as compared to demand, the price of electricity will naturally be lower.

These retailers can then go into the wholesale market and buy electricity in bulk from power generation companies.

Of course, these prices offered by retailers are only fixed during your contract. So they can adjust their prices and discounts over time. But fret not, you can always switch back to buying electricity at the regulated tariff from SP Group at any time – after you complete your contract of course; unless you wish to pay the early termination fee…

2. When Can I Start Applying?

As of today, you can switch to an Open Electricity Market retailer anytime.

But as with anything that has to do with money, take the time to understand the OEM before you switch.

The retailers might be throwing promo codes around like Oprah Winfrey and shouting out how they’re the cheapest in town.

Everybody Gets A Promo Code
Source: imgflip

But you really should take the time to understand the other stuff which electricity retailers don’t usually talk about like:

  • Administrative fee
  • AMI meter installation fee
  • Auto-renewal of contract clause
  • Carbon tax
  • Early termination charges
  • Late payment fee
  • Paper bill
  • Security deposit
  • Transmission loss factor
  • U-Save GST Voucher

Read more: Hidden Fees And T&Cs To Take Note When Choosing An Electricity Retailer

3. What Is Transmission Loss Factors (TLF)

To put it simply, it’s a scaling factor that has been applied at the metering point to account for network and transformer loss.

Think of it this way: to get you one unit of electricity, the retailer needs to send two units of electricity to account for the possible loss of one unit of electricity when electricity travels across such a vast distance from the power plant to your home. That’s the TLF that they need to factor in when charging you.

Most of us fall under the 230kv/400kV load.

Transmission Loss Factor EMA
Source: EMA

SP Group should have already adjusted this to reflect the actual consumer use, so retailers will adhere to SP Group’s recommended TLF and bill you accordingly.


Wanna Switch But Don’t Know Which?

With so many options in the market, it’s hard to decide which to switch to.

Why not give the Seedly Open Electricity Market Comparison Tool a whirl and see how much you can shave off your electricity plan?

It’s free to use anyways!

Find Me The Best Electricity Plan Now!

About Ming Feng
A stint in Bloomberg gifted me with a beer belly, which only grew larger when I moved on to become a Professional Trader. Now I turn caffeine into digestible finance-related content.
You can contribute your thoughts like Ming Feng here.

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!

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