Around 40 per cent of households in Jurong have already switched to electricity retailers on the Open Electricity Market (OEM) since the soft launch in April 2018, the Energy Market Authority said on Thursday (Feb 7).
In addition, about 25 per cent in zone 1 (postal codes starting with 58 – 78) and 18 per cent in zone 2 (postal codes starting with 53 – 57, 79 – 80, 82 – 83) have made the switch since Nov 1 and Jan 1 respectively. Together, these two zones consist of more than 700,000 consumers.
According to EMA, the early switch rate for zone 2 is higher than it was for both zone 1 and Jurong.
The switch rates recorded in Singapore so far are also higher than in other countries such as Japan, UK, Australia and New Zealand, which usually see single-digit annual switch rates.
Ngiam Shih Chun, chief executive of the EMA said consumers are encouraged to learn about their options before deciding whether to switch to the OEM.
According to EMA, the majority of households who switched by end of January this year signed up for 24-month standard price plans, which offer all-inclusive rates.
Consumers who have switched are now paying an electricity rate of about 20 per cent to 30 per cent lower than the regulated tariff, with rates ranging from $17.66/kWh to $23.01/kWh for Fixed Priced plans. Discounts encountered on the Discount Off the Regulated Tariff plans have so far ranged from 14.5 per cent to 25 per cent.
Consumers on a Fixed Price plan pay a fixed rate – which can be higher or lower than the regulated tariff – throughout the contract period. Those on the Discount Off the Regulated Tariff plans do not mind paying rates that change quarterly. Rates on this plan change in tandem with the prevailing regulated tariff, and are calculated based on a fixed discount rate.
Of the two types, the Fixed Price plan has seen a higher take-up.
The majority of retailers have gone digital and sign-ups can be done online, EMA added.
To provide flexibility, some retailers have partnered with third-parties such as banks, telecommunications and home insurance companies to offer value-added services and products.
For instance, DBS launched its own Electricity Marketplace with 13 different companies, while Singtel recently partnered Geneco to allow customers to purchase electricity plans under Singtel Power.
The OEM is set to launch in zone 3 (postal codes starting with 34 – 52, 81) by Mar 1, and in zone 4 ((postal codes starting with 01 – 33) by May 1.