Switching to an OEM Electricity Retailer

With the rise of the retail electricity market, both homeowners and businesses are given the flexibility and choice to switch to a retailer that supplies a plan that best suits their needs. Here’s a simple guide to show you how it’s done.
switching oem retailer

Switching to an OEM electricity retailer

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) set out the Open Electricity Market (OEM) initiative during the fourth quarter of 2018 in order to liberalize the retail electricity market in Singapore. Competition is indeed healthy, allowing retailers to showcase innovative and attractive plans that suit your needs. The best part about it? Consumers are given more flexibility and options in choosing a suitable plan which saves you electricity costs.

Want to find out more about the Open Electricity Market? There’s more about it in our other article here.

Below is a simple guide showing you how to pick a suitable retailer in three simple steps. Yes, that’s right, switching to another retailer isn’t as complicated as it seems. 

Additionally, you may also want to refer to the OEM price comparison tool to help you determine the plan that best suits your needs. What it requires is your type of dwelling and a rough estimation of your average monthly consumption in kWh (you’ll have to refer to your latest electricity bill to get this).

Step 1: Ask Yourself – What Do I Need?

There are currently three available options when it comes to an electricity plan for your property, namely the Fixed Price, Discount Off Regulated Tariff and Non-standard plans.

Still unsure about what they are?

1. Fixed Price

Do you prefer transparency and stability on your electricity bills? Then the Fixed Price plan may be suitable for you.

fixed price oem plan

As the name suggests, a fixed price contract means that you’re obligated to pay a rate that is constant throughout the contract period with your OEM retailer. The fixed rate that you’re paying for the whole duration of the contract can be either higher or lower than the regulated SP Group tariff, which is subject to review every quarter. 

Here’s an example to summarize what your monthly costs may look like:

Regulated rate$0.25/kWh$0.20/kWh
Fixed rate$0.18/kWh$0.18/kWh

Suppose your monthly electricity consumption is 500kWh, this table tabulates your monthly electricity bills for the months of April and July.

Electricity bills on regulated rate$125 ($0.25/kWh x 500 kWh)$100 ($0.20/kWh x 500 kWh)
Electricity bills on fixed rate$90 ($0.18/kWh x 500 kWh)$90 ($0.18/kWh x 500 kWh)

Should you wish to sign up for this plan, you would be charged a monthly bill of $90 for the entire duration of the contract regardless of the fluctuating rates of the regulated electricity tariffs.

2. Discount Off Regulated Tariff

The Discount Off Regulated Tariff is another option, should you wish for an affordable rate regardless of the variability in electricity tariffs.

discount off tariff oem plan

Using the similar scenario above, when you sign up for a discount off tariff plan that offers a 20% discount, based on a monthly consumption of 500kWh, your new electricity bills will be tabulated in the table below.

Regulated rate$0.25/kWh$0.20/kWh
Discounted rate$0.20/kWh $0.16/kWh
Electricity bills on regulated rate$125 ($0.25/kWh x 500 kWh)$100 ($0.20/kWh x 500 kWh)
Electricity bills on discounted rate$100 ($0.20/kWh x 500 kWh)$80 ($0.16/kWh x 500 kWh)

While compared to the fixed price plan, you may pay a slightly higher electricity bill, you have the assurance that you will always be paying a discounted rate compared to the regulated tariff for the entire duration of the plan.

3. Non-standard

Last but not least, we have Non-standard plans. These plans are curated for homeowners who may wish to optimize their electricity usage to get the best bang for their buck, including peak and off-peak pricing, tiered pricing as well as no-contract offers. That said, we recommend most homeowners to stick to the Fixed Price and Discount Off Regulated Tariff plans, unless they have unique electricity consumption patterns.

The main gist of peak and off-peak plans is that it allows property owners to optimize their electricity bills when they consume the most electricity and generally benefits households who have a higher usage during off-peak hours (late nights and weekends). 

If your family is usually out during the day and uses a lot of air conditioning at night, then this type of plan may be suitable for your household.

Here is an example in calculating the cost for a peak and off-peak plan. Some OEM retailers in Singapore offer non-standard price plans and we recommend you to contact them should you have any questions.

Peak (7am to 11pm)Off-peak (11pm to 7am)
Regulated rate $0.25/kWh$0.25/kWh
Discount (off tariff)10%30%
Discounted rate$0.225/kWh$0.175/kWh
Estimated usage150kWh350kWh
Electricity bills on regulated rate$37.50 ($0.25/kWh x 150 kWh)$87.50 ($0.25/kWh x 350 kWh)
Electricity bills on discounted rate$33.75 ($0.225/kWh x 150 kWh)$61.25 ($0.175/kWh x 350 kWh)

While the homeowner’s electricity bills on the regulated rate will be $125 for the month, under the peak and off-peak plan, total electricity bills will be $95.

Step 2: What Else Am I Missing?

Now the question that comes to mind is what’s next once you’ve decided on a plan. Well there’s just one important thing you’ll have to do.

Your shortlisted OEM retailers will provide you with a Fact Sheet which outlines key terms and conditions of the plan. The Fact Sheet would specify payment terms as well as early termination charges. For instance, you can find it here in section C of iSwitch’s Fact Sheet.

Additionally, the OEM provides a Consumer Advisory summarising what you as a consumer should be aware of when you sign up with a retailer. Retailers are legally required to obtain your acknowledgement before they contract you as a customer.

Step 3: Close the Deal

When you’ve made up your mind and have signed up with your retailer, the transition will be seamless. This means that your chosen retailer will work with SP Group to make the switch without you having to worry (no, your electricity supply won’t be cut, as you will continue to receive electricity through the national power grid operated by SP Group) and the best part is your new contract plan can start as early as 5 working days.

Another thing to highlight is that when it comes to billing arrangements, some retailers will provide you with the option to either receive a separate bill for your electricity usage, or alternatively continue to receive your bills through SP Group’s billing services. SP Group will continue to charge you for non-electricity usage such as water, gas and refuse collection.

The Bottom Line

Switching to another electricity retailer is super easy and is definitely able to help you cut costs while saving money.

Still unsure about what electricity plan to get? 

  • If you prefer stability and transparency, the fixed rate plan is most suitable for you 
  • Should you not mind the variability in your monthly rates yet, would prefer to consistently pay for a cheaper rate, go for the discount-off tariff plan
  • For the rest of you who may have unique electricity usage patterns and wish to optimize your spending, explore non-standard price plans

With the launch of the Open Electricity Market, retailers are also incentivised to differentiate themselves and attract more customers. Some retailers, such as Ohm Energy, provide you with a no strings attached trial period to give you a feel of what it’s like to switch before you lock in a full contract. 

Furthermore, different retailers will also offer different discounts and promotions too. In their efforts to attract and secure new customers, there are referral discounts and perks which are available for a limited time period. For example, iSwitch has a 5% cash rebate on their UOB One Credit Card Bill Payment whereas Sunseap has a $70 bill rebate for their DBS and UOB promotions.

Ultimately, these promotions are there to entice but should not be the key driving factor for choosing your retailer – it should be your needs as a consumer.

Happy switching!

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David Camero
David Camero
David is interning as a Business Development Analyst at Solar AI Technologies. He's also a sophomore who majors in the realm of Finance. During his free time, he's either reading about the realm of Westeros or is either swimming in a sunny afternoon.
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