SINGAPORE: Households and businesses will stand to benefit from more advanced energy management systems and dynamic pricing plans that will help reduce their energy costs.
Making this point was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, S Iswaran, who announced in Parliament on Monday that the government is progressively increasing competition in the electricity retail market to further help consumers manage their energy costs.
The Energy Market Authority will be lowering the contestability threshold in phases for Commercial and Industrial consumers.
The threshold will go down from the current 10MWh to 8MWh on 1 April 2014.
This allows non—residential consumers who use a monthly average of at least 8MWh of electricity to choose where to purchase their electricity from.
The threshold will be further lowered to 4MWh on 1 October 2014, which means even more consumers will become eligible to exercise this choice.
Mr Iswaran said: "When these measures are implemented in full, it will allow about 20,000 consumers (or 70,000 accounts) to benefit from increased retail competition, up from the current 9,000 consumers (or 13,000 accounts)."
He said town councils will also be a key beneficiary as all of them would be able to negotiate for retail packages at competitive market prices.
He assured the needy will continue to receive assistance.
Mr Iswaran said: "Notwithstanding these efforts, we recognise that energy costs may still be a cause for concern for some households. Our policy is to allow the price of energy to reflect its true cost and not to subsidise energy consumption, as this is wasteful and unsustainable.
"Instead, we provide targeted assistance to low— and middle—income households through the permanent Utility—Save (U—Save) rebates announced in last year’s Budget. This year, we have doubled the U—Save rebates across all categories of HDB households, via an additional one—off GST Voucher—U—Save special payment."
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