Updated: 03/07/2014 02:43

15,000 more consumers can choose their preferred electricity retailer from October

15,000 more consumers can choose their preferred electricity retailer from October

Fifteen thousand more consumers will be able to choose to buy electricity from their preferred electricity retailer from October this year as the retail contestability threshold is lowered in two steps. 

The threshold will be lowered to 8 MegaWatt-hour from April and then halved to 4 MegaWatt-hour from October. 

Announcing this in the Committee of Supply debate, Second Trade and Industry Minister, S Iswaran, says with this change, 15 town councils have already signed up for contestability under this initiative. 

Collectively they will enjoy a discount of at least 10 per cent off the regulated tariff, which works out to an estimated $640,000 in monthly savings. 

Mr Iswaran says companies, especially SMEs, across all sectors will also benefit. 

They can now aggregate their demand across various locations to meet the lower threshold, and choose a retailer who offers the most competitive pricing. 

Several firms from various sectors have already done so and will enjoy cost savings of between 3 and 12 per cent. 

Mr Iswaran says the Energy Market Authority, EMA,is studying how to further expand the contestable segment of the market over the next few years to include all consumers, including households. 

But in doing so, he says EMA will have to ensure that there are adequate system safeguards even as more businesses and households benefit from greater retail contestability. 

He also said that progressive and targeted assistance to low- and middle-income households through the Utility-Save (U-Save) special payment and quarterly U-Save rebates will continue to be provided.

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