After the positive response to its soft launch in April 2018, the Open Electricity Market (OEM) is now set for an extension to consumers throughout Singapore. As an attempt to liberalise the electricity market, the OEM will progressively launch zone-wise in Singapore, starting 1 November 2018 and culminating with a country-wide launch by 1 May 2019.
What Encouraged an Islandwide Launch of the Open Electricity Market?
The OEM was soft-launched in Singapore in April 2018, starting with the Jurong region as a step towards providing consumers with flexibility in choosing their electricity suppliers. In Jurong, more than 30% of consumers switched to retailers of their choice and consequently enjoyed savings worth 20% on their electricity bills. Owing to this overwhelming response, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) decided to extend the open electricity market islandwide.
Is It Compulsory for consumers to Switch?
Switching is neither compulsory for consumers, nor is there a deadline for switching. Before the open electricity market came into the picture, consumers used to buy electricity from SP Group, which supplied electricity at regulated tariffs. These regulated tariffs were revised on a quarterly basis. Consumers can either stick to SP Group, or they may switch to any retailer of their choice that suits their requirements.
At What Prices Do Retailers Supply Electricity?
The 13 participating retailers offer standard, as well as, non-standard plans. Consumers can choose either of the two standard plans namely the Fixed Price Plan and the Discount Off The Regulated Tariff Plan. While the former provides electricity at a fixed price throughout the duration of contact, and is suitable for consumers who prefer a constant electricity rate, the latter offers a fixed discount on the currently prevailing regulated tariffs, and is more suitable for those consumers who do not mind fluctuating prices as long as they remain below the regulated tariffs.
Do Lower Electricity Prices Encourage More Electricity Consumption?
The electricity bill amount, throughout the contract duration with the retailer, is significantly lower than that with the regulated tariffs, and is hence, quite alluring for consumers. However, to ensure that the electricity consumption does not grow rapidly following the price reduction, EMA has taken several safeguard measures – one such being the concept of smart meters. As opposed to the general meters, which are read every two months manually, the smart meters are read at a half-hourly basis to allow consumers to monitor their electricity consumption patterns.
The extension of the OEM has definitely liberalised the electricity market to a great extent. Consumersare able to pick any retailer of their choice or stick to the default SP Group. Coupled with this, is the fact that there is no deadline for the switch as well. Moreover, if consumers change their mind, they may revert back again, to either SP Group, or any other retailers, in accordance with the policies of the company.
The OEM indeed is a significant step towards a better electricity market, and it provides consumers with an unparalleled degree of control.
Visit the following website to know more about Singapore’s Open Electricity Market via a leading electricity retailer.