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Open Electricity Market (OEM): Which Is The Cheapest Electricity Retailer In Singapore? (October 2021)

profileMing Feng

Electricity Tariff in Singapore

The electricity tariff for Q4 2021 (October to December 2021) will be increased from 23.38 cents to 24.11 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), increasing by about 3.12% as compared to Q3 2021 (July to September 2021). 

This amounts to 25.80 cents per kWh if you want to factor in the 7% GST.

This is not the best news for us all…

We’re pretty sure that the Open Electricity Market (OEM) retailers will be adjusting their prices accordingly as well, which means a more expensive electricity bill…

Source: Giphy

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!

Do note that prices and promotions are subject to change without prior notice. Information accurate as of 22 October 2021. 


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 ContractSingapore Power (SP):
$0.258 cents/kWh
6 MonthsGeneco
$0.251/kWh
1 YearGeneco
$0.251/kWh
2 YearsGeneco
$0.255/kWh
3 YearsTuas Power
$0.2568/kWh

Cheapest Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plan

Contract Length For Discount Off Tariff PlanWho provides the cheapest plan?
6 MonthsUnion Power:
1% off
1 YearSenoko Energy: 
6% off
2 YearsPacificLight, Senoko Energy, Tuas Power: 
3% off

Cheapest Peak And Off-Peak Plan

Peak and Off-Peak PlanWho provides the cheapest plan?
Discount Off TariffPacificLight
Peak (7am to 11pm):
2% (24 months)
2% (12 months)

Off Peak (11pm to 7am):
4.8% (24 months)
4.8% (12 months)
Fixed Plan Keppel Electric
Peak (7am to 11pm):
$0.2784/kWh

Off Peak (11pm to 7am):
$0.2141/kWh

Click to Teleport


Which Is The Cheapest Electricity Retailer In Singapore?

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 price comparison between the OEM electricity retailers, even the Straits Times picked it up.

#weirdflexbutokay

What Is the Open Electricity Market (OEM)?

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 the Singapore Power (SP) Group to their preferred electricity provider.

So… Who Are the Electricity Retailers in the OEM?

There are 9 electricity retailers in Singapore:

  1. Diamond Energy Merchants Pte Ltd
  2. Geneco (by Seraya Energy Pte Ltd)
  3. Keppel Electric Pte Ltd
  4. PacificLight Energy Pte Ltd
  5. Sembcorp Power Pte Ltd
  6. Senoko Energy Supply Pte Ltd
  7. Sunseap Energy Pte Ltd 
  8. Tuas Power Supply Pte Ltd
  9. Union Power Pte Ltd 

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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.

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 is 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).

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

With so many retailers, choosing one can be quite a chore.

But we’re here to help by comparing all the plans they have for households.

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

Note: Prices inclusive of GST. Monthly bill based on the electricity consumption of an average HDB 4-room flat in Singapore of 340 kWh a month.

CompanyFixed Rate Plan
No Contract/Short Contract6 Months1 Year Contract2 Years Contract3 Years Contract
Singapore Power (SP)$0.2580 cents/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.72
Geneco$0.2510/kWh

Monthly Bill: $85.34
$0.2510/kWh

Monthly Bill: $85.34
$0.2550/kWh

Monthly Bill: $86.70
Keppel Electric$0.2580/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.72
$0.2580/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.72
PacificLight$0.2398/kWh (+ $0.50 daily fee)

Monthly Bill: $96.53
$0.2568/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.31
$0.2568/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.31
Sembcorp Power$0.2580/kWh (+ $0.33 daily fee)

Monthly Bill: $97.62
$0.2580/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.72
$0.2580/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.72
$0.2580/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.72
Senoko Energy$0.2520/kWh

Monthly Bill: $85.68
$0.2568/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.30
Sunseap$0.2569/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.35
$0.2569/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.35
Tuas Power$0.2568/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.31
$0.2568/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.31
$0.2568/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.31
Union Power$0.2573/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.48

Also, here are the cheapest fixed OEM plans based on contract length:

  • No Contract Plans:
    • Singapore Power: $0.258 cents/kWh | Monthly Bill: $87.72
  • Six Month Plan:
    •  Geneco: $0.251/kWh | Monthly Bill: $85.34
  • One Year Plan:
    • Geneco: $0.251/kWh | Monthly Bill: $85.34
  • Two Year Plan: 
    • Geneco: $0.255/kWh | Monthly Bill: $86.70
  • Three Year Plan:
    • Tuas Power: $0.2568/kWh | Monthly Bill: $87.31

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

If you’d like to take a bet on the electricity tariff, then the DORT plan might be more your thing.

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

CompanyDiscount Off Tariff Plan
No Contract6 Months1 Year Contract2 Years Contract
Singapore Power (SP)$0.258 cents/kWh

Monthly Bill: $87.72
Diamond Electric0% discount

Monthly Bill: $87.72

Free Personal Accident Insurance by AIA

Valid for premises with 3,000 kWh monthly and below only
PacificLight3% off

Monthly Bill: $85.09
3% off

Monthly Bill: $85.09
Senoko Energy6% off

Monthly Bill: $82.46
3% off

Monthly Bill: $85.09
Tuas Power3% off

Monthly Bill: $85.09
3% off

Monthly Bill: $85.09
Union Power1% off

Monthly Bill: $86.84
Geneco
Keppel Electric
Sembcorp Power
Sunseap

Note: Prices inclusive of GST. Monthly bill based on the electricity consumption of an average HDB 4-room flat in Singapore of 340 kWh a month.

Also, here are the cheapest DORT OEM plans based on contract length:

  • Six Month Plan:
    • Union Power: 1% off | Monthly Bill: $86.64
  • One Year Plan:
    • Senoko Energy: 6% off | Monthly Bill: $82.46
  • Two Year Plan:
    • Pacific Light, Senoko Energy, Tuas Power: 3% off | Monthly Bill: $85.09

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

For most retailers, the 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 electrical activity.

CompanyPeak and off-peak plans
Peak (7am to 11pm)Off Peak (11pm to 7am)
PacificLight
(12 Months)*
2% off tariff4.8% off tariff
PacificLight
(24 Months)*
2% off tariff4.8% off tariff
Keppel Electric$0.2874/kWh$0.2211/kWh
Sembcorp Power
Geneco
Tuas Power
Senoko Energy
Sunseap
Union Power
Diamond Electric
  • PacificLight offers a DORT price plan for their peak and off-peak plan.
  • Keppel Electric offers a fixed price plan for their peak and off-peak plan.

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SP Wholesale Electricity Plan

On top of the regulated tariff, the SP Group offers a non-standard price plan where customers can buy electricity directly from the wholesale electricity market.

The good thing about this price plan is that there is no lock-in period or contract.

This means that you can switch back to the SP regulated tariff plan or sign up for an OEM plan without any penalty.

But, do note that the wholesale electricity price (WEP) varies every half hour depending on the prevailing demand and supply situation in Singapore’s wholesale electricity market.

Thus you will have to bear the risk of price fluctuations if there are any abrupt changes in electricity’s demand and supply.

You can refer to the chart below to get an idea of the WEP:

Source: Singapore Power (SP) | Lowest and highest half-hourly wholesale electricity prices* in 2019.

For instance, in February 2019, the half-hourly WEP ranged between $0.14/kWh and a crazy $1.56/kWh

Thus, you should carefully consider this WEP as it is the more unstable and riskier option due to the price fluctuations.

There is more certainty if you buy electricity from an electricity retailer under a Fixed Price or Discount Off the Regulated Tariff price plan.

To illustrate this, let’s look at this real-life example from someone working at WhatCard:

Source: WhatCard

Please ignore the many lines in the bill and focus on the person’s total electricity consumption and how much he paid for his electricity bill.

If you subtract the one-off security deposit cost of $98, the person only paid ~$85 for his electricity. Divide this over his electricity usage (801.34 kWh) and you’ll find that he is only paying $0.106/kWh which is way lower than the fixed discounted tariff rates of $0.17 to $0.19/kWh offered by the OEM retailers.

But on balance, this past performance is not indicative of future returns and you may not always enjoy such a low rate. 

If you ask us, there’s no harm in trying the SP wholesale electricity plan for a month or two to see if you save more money compared to the regulated tariff and the OEM plans.

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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.

We will be using the current Q4 2021 electricity tariff rate i.e. 25.80 cents per kWh (including GST) and the latest data from SP:

Property TypeNational Average Electricity Consumption Per Month (kWh)
(as of August 2021)
Average Cost of Electricity Per Month (incl. GST)
HDB 1-Room or 2-Room153$39.74
HDB 2-Room204$52.63
HDB 3-Room283$73.01
HDB 4-Room340$87.72
HDB 5-Room Exec456$117.65
HDB Exec553$142.67
Apartment588$151.70
Terrace853$220.07
Semi-Detached1,157$298.51
Bungalow2,330$601.14

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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 Q4 2021, the electricity tariff is 24.11 cents per kWh (excluding GST)

With GST the electricity tariff is 25.80 cents per kWh.

The Electricity Tariff is made up of four 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 Cost5.77 cents/kWhAnnually
Energy Costs16.32cents/kWhQuarterly
Source: SP Group

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

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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 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

Speaking of early termination fees, please keep a lookout for them before you put pen to paper and sign the contract.

For example, OEMs like Tuas Power charge a $200 (including GST) early termination fee for their plans.

Not to mention that Genco charges an early termination fees as follows:

  • HDB 1 or 2 rooms: $60
  • HDB 3, 4 or 5 rooms / HDB Executive: $130
  • Executive Condominium / Condominium / Private
    Apartment: $180
  • Terrace House/ Semi-Detached House: $350
  • Bungalow: $720

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.

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.

Source: OEM

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.

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Wanna Switch But Don’t Know Which?

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

Besides comparing prices, why not find out what real users have to say about the various electricity retailers through our SeedlyReviews?

Find Me The Best Electricity Plan Now!

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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.
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