More choice, flexibility for all electricity users in 2018: Iswaran

More choice, flexibility for all electricity users in 2018: Iswaran
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The Singapore government is looking to fully open the electricity retail market to competition in the second half of 2018 by working with the Energy Market Authority (EMA). 

According to a speech by Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), the move is to give electricity users greater flexibility and choice in their electricity consumption. There will be a total of 1.3 million consumers, including industries, small commercial consumers and households, who will benefit from the plan.

Mr Iswaran was speaking at the Singapore International Energy Week 2015 at Marina Bay Sands on Monday (Oct 26). 

He said: "With significant and rapid changes in the global energy market, it is vital that Singapore adopts and sustains a long view to achieve the goals of a competitive, secure, and sustainable energy supply. It is an approach that has served us well."

To date, only about 33,000 consumers with an average monthly electricity consumption which amounts to a monthly electricity bill of about $450 benefit from this flexibility.

The remaining 1.3 million consumers, mainly households, are on the regulated tariff with Singapore Power Services.

Mr Iswaran said: "From 2001, we have progressively liberalised the electricity retail market to allow more consumers to choose their electricity retailer."

"Our ultimate aim is to have full retail competition... This will enable the remaining 1.3 million consumers, which are mainly households, to have flexibility and choice in their electricity consumption," he added.

At the event, Mr Iswaran also announced two areas that the EMA is looking at to boost Singapore's energy industry.

First, it has plans to work with the industry to facilitate power generation investment decisions in Singapore by providing more information to investors. Secondly, the government is also planning to establish a Secondary Gas Trading Market in Singapore, where gas buyers and sellers can trade gas on a short-term basis domestically.

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