Open Electricity Market is Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) policy to give consumers options when buying electricity. This model allows users to buy electricity from retailers at competitive prices or the SG group, the government’s electricity, and gas distribution company. The program was launched in November 2018 and has given close to 1.5 million households a choice to buy electricity from preferred retailers on plans that meet their individual needs.
How Does the Market Protect the consumers?
The government conducts regular surveys to determine customer satisfaction to protect the consumers from exploitation in the open electricity market. The survey findings are used to rate the retailers on a scale of 1-5, where 1 means the least satisfaction and five the highest satisfaction level. In addition, thousands of respondents participate in the survey to ensure accuracy in the ratings.
After conducting the surveys,the regulator publishes the results to help other consumers decide the retailer from which to buy electricity. Through the rankings, the companies that have the best practices end up getting more customers.
Key Players in the Electricity Market and Their Roles
The electricity market comprises the following players:
• Energy Market Authority (EMA)
EMA is the government regulatory agency that ensures healthy competition in the market. EMA also ensures the electricity provided is safe and reliable.
• Power Generation Companies
These are the companies that generate the energy. Power generation companies sell their generated power to the wholesale electricity market in a competitive process where electricity prices change every half an hour.
• Energy Market Company (EMC)
The EMC is in charge of the wholesale electricity market. It acts as a link between electricity generators and the consumers
• Electricity Retailers
Electricity retailers buy electricity in bulk from the EMC and sell it to the end-users. The main roles of the retailer include ensuring the consumers’ connection to the electricity network, billing, and providing customer service.
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Qualities of a good electricity retailer
For a retailer to rank high in the competitive open electricity market, it must have certain attributes. Below are some qualities of a good electricity retailer.
• Affordable pricing plans
Although the SP group provides a regulated electricity tariff, retailers are at liberty to set their pricing plans. Different retailers have unique plans aimed at providing their customers with the best prices while at the same time remaining relevant in the competitive open electricity market. The pricing plans may vary depending on the type of plan and plan duration.
• Friendly customer service
Customer care is at the core of any modern business outfit, especially for those who conduct any of their activities online.
• Referral programs
Good electricity retailers reward their customers who refer their friends and family. Such referral programs include rebates on electricity bills.
A good electricity retailer offers a wide variety of rewards to loyal customers to maintain their patronage. Examples of such rewards programs include https://www.senokoenergy.com/households, a smart rewards program that sees the leading retailer partner with other companies to give their customers valuable offers and discounts. The rewards include electrical appliances such as vacuum cleaners, smart TVs, and fans.
Although Singapore’s electricity sale strategy is a relatively new phenomenon, its benefits far outweigh the challenges. Most consumers will agree that it has encouraged healthy competition and innovation in the energy sector resulting in numerous benefits.