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?

profileMing Feng
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Electricity Tariff in Singapore

Electricity tariff is now at 21.43 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from October to December 2020, rising by about 9% as compared to the July to September quarter. 

Or 22.93 cents per kWh if you want to factor in the 7% 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 up by $7.01, without GST.

Which can add up a little…

We’re pretty sure that the Open Electricity Market (OEM) has adjusted their prices accordingly, which means CHEAPER ELECTRICITY BILL!

(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 MonthsiSwitch
(Close contenders: Tuas Power and Geneco)
1 YearUnion Power
2 YearsUnion Power, Sunseap
3 YearsiSwitch

Cheapest Discount Off Regulated Tariff Plan

Contract Length For Discount Off Tariff PlanWho provides the cheapest plan?
6 MonthsSunseap
1 YearSembcorp and Union Power
2 YearsUnion Power, Sunseap and Sembcorp Power

Cheapest Peak And Off-Peak Plan

Peak and Off-Peak PlanWho provides the cheapest plan?
Cheapest Peak and Off-Peak PriceKeppel Electric
Discount Off TariffPacificLight

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?

There are 12 electricity retailers in Singapore:

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


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 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.


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 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
iSwitch$0.1676/kWh

No Contract: $0.1787/kWh
$0.1744/kWh$0.1798/kWh$0.1776/kWh
Tuas Power$0.1675/kWh (Care Promotion)$0.1699/kWh (Care Promotion)


$0.1798/kWh (18 Months)
$0.1763/kWh (Care Promotion)

Otherwise $0.1798/kWh
$0.1798/kWh
Best Electricity $0.1680/kWh

No Contract: $10.70 per month + $0.1736/kWh
$0.1695/kWh$0.1890/kWh
-
Union Power$0.1680/kWh$0.169/kWh$0.1760/kWh-
Sunseap$0.1700/kWh$0.1724/kWh$0.1760/kWh-
PacificLightN/A

No Contract: $0.1688/kWh

(+$0.32/day daily charge)
$0.1719/kWh (Online Exclusive)

$0.1865/kWh
$0.1764/kWh$0.1835/kWh
Senoko Energy-$0.1700/kWh$0.1763/kWh-
Ohm Energy$0.1685/kWh

No Contract: $10.70 per month + $0.1734/kWh
$0.1849/kWh$0.1947/kWh-
Geneco$0.1679/kWh$0.1745/kWh$0.1766/kWh$0.1889/kWh
Keppel Electric-$0.1745/kWh$0.1769/kWh-
Sembcorp PowerNo Contract: $0.1745/kWh$0.1710/kWh$0.1763/kWh-
Diamond ElectricDoes not provide fixed price plan

(Note: Prices inclusive of GST)

  • PacificLight, Best Electricity, Ohm Energy, iSwitch and Sembcorp Power provide No Contract plans at $0.1688/kWh, $0.1736/kWh, $0.1734/kWh, $0.1787/kWh and $0.1745/kWh respectively (additional charges by some retailers not included).
  • Tuas Power has the cheapest 6 months plan at $0.1675/kWh
  • Tuas Power and Geneco come extremely close to the cheapest 6 months plan at $0.1678/kWh and $0.1679/kWh respectively.
  • Union Power the cheapest when it comes to 1-year plan at $0.1695/kWh
  • Union Power and Sunseap the most economical when it comes to 2-years plan at $0.1760/kWh
  • iSwitch is the cheapest for 3 years contract at $0.1776/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
PacificLight-24.5% off23% off
Union Power-25.5% off23.6% off
Sunseap23% off23% off23.6% off
Sembcorp Power-25.5% off23.6% off
Ohm Energy22% off22% off-
Diamond Electric18% off no lock-in period, +1% from 4th and 8th month20% off-
iSwitch-18% off-
Best Electricity -21% off20% off
Tuas Power18% off24.1% off22% off
Senoko Energy-24% off23% off
Geneco--23% off
Keppel Electric(3 months: 19% off)-23% off
  • For short-term 6 months contract, Sunseap is the cheapest with 23% off
  • Sembcorp Power and Union Power are the cheapest for the 1-year contract with a 25.5% discount off tariff plan
  • For the 2-year contract, Union Power, Sunseap and Sembcorp Power provide the best deal at 23.6% 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 electrical activity.

CompanyPeak and off-peak plans
PeakOff Peak
PacificLight10% off tariff
(7am to 11pm)
35% off tariff
(11pm to 7am)
Keppel Electric$0.2087/kWh
(7am to 11pm)
$0.1669/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

(Note: Prices inclusive of GST)

  • PacificLight offers a discount off tariff for peak and off-peak plan
  • 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)

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 Q3 2020 (1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020) electricity tariff rate: 22.93 cents per kWh (including GST).

Property TypeAverage Electricity Consumption Per Month (kWh)
(as of March 2020)
Average Cost of Electricity Per Month (incl. GST)
HDB 1-Room116$26.60
HDB 2-Room155$35.50
HDB 3-Room237$54.30
HDB 4-Room324$74.30
HDB 5-Room378$86.67
HDB Executive462$105.94
Apartment501$114.88
Terrace794$182.06
Semi-Detached1049$240.54
Bungalow2116$485.20

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 2020, the electricity tariff is 21.43 cents per kWh (excluding GST)

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 Costs15.53cents/kWhQuarterly
Q4 2020 Electricity Tariff SP Group
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.


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 load factor (April 2020)
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.


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!

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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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