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iSwitch Singapore – Comparison & Review of iSwitch Electricity Plans

iSwitch Singapore Electricity Review

Clara Lim

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Is it just us, or do iSwitch booths really seem to be everywhere these days? Those iSwitch roadshows don’t just take place at bus interchanges and event squares, but also pop up at places like food courts and supermarkets.

Actually, they hardly need all this outreach, because iSwitch always tops the charts when you run a price comparison on the official Open Electricity Market website. (Surely the low rates sell themselves?!)

But I suppose there are lots of people trying to find out who/what this iSwitch company is, because it’s pretty much a complete unknown, especially compared to giants like Sembcorp and Keppel.

According to their “About Us” page, iSwitch may be a pretty new, no-brand startup, but it’s part of a more established commodities and supply chain conglomerate, RCMA Group. And… well, that’s about all I could find that might reassure potential customers.

However you might feel about iSwitch, their electricity plans are definitely worth checking out. They are, after all, supposedly the cheapest on the market. So let’s dive in.

 

iSwitch electricity plans comparison

iSwitch electricity plan Contract duration Price per kWh Monthly service fee
Chope the Rate 36 months 17.54¢ $5.297
Chope the Rate 24 months 17.55¢ $5.297
Chope the Rate Exclusive 12 months 17.62¢ Waived
Super Saver Discount 24 months 23% off tariff = now 18.78¢ $5.297
Super Saver Discount Exclusive 12 months 22.8% off tariff = now 18.83¢ Waived
iPromo – iPad 36 months 5% off tariff = now 23.17¢ $5.297

iSwitch basically has 2 main types of plans – fixed rate (Chope the Rate) and discount off regulated tariff (Super Saver Discount). Each one has a few variants in terms of contract duration and price. Then there’s the special “iPromo” plan, which is more of a bundle deal rather than a proper electricity plan.

In the table above, I’ve ranked them in ascending order of electricity price per kWh. It’s no surprise that the longer the commitment, the cheaper it is; and fixed rate plans are cheaper than discount off tariff ones.

However, iSwitch charges a monthly service fee for some plans, which you will need to take into account when choosing between plans. I’ll discuss how this fee affects the pricing in greater detail below.

Apart from the monthly service fee, iSwitch does not charge separately for carbon tax or transmission loss. Paper bills (if you opt for them) cost $1.07 per bill.

When you sign up, you also have to pay a security deposit of $30 (1- to 3-room HDB flat), $60 (all other HDB flats) or $90 (private housing).

 

iSwitch Chope the Rate – fixed rate electricity plans

iSwitch electricity plan Contract duration Price per kWh Monthly service fee
Chope the Rate 36 months 17.54¢ $5.297
Chope the Rate 24 months 17.55¢ $5.297
Chope the Rate Exclusive 12 months 17.62¢ Waived

iSwitch’s fixed rate electricity plans are called “Chope the Rate”, and they’re available in 3 varieties: 12, 24 and 36 months.

As you’d expect, the longer the contract period, the cheaper the rate you can “chope”. Although there’s not really a very significant difference between rates for 24 vs 36 months, the benefit of the latter is that you can enjoy “today’s” rate for the next 3 years.

As for the rate itself, 17.54¢ (or even 17.55¢) per kWh really is the lowest on the market right now. For comparison’s sake, the next cheapest rate for 24 month packages is 17.78¢, which is offered by 5 other retailers. So iSwitch really seems offer the cheapest electricity rate in Singapore.

BUT whatever savings you get with iSwitch’s 24 or 36 month plans will immediately be negated by the $5.297 monthly service fee they charge, which is conveniently left out of the published rates online.

Illustration: If you use 360 kWh of electricity a month (average for 4-room HDB flat), your monthly bill with iSwitch Chope the Rate (24 months) will be $63.18 + $5.297 = $68.477. Had you opted for one of the common 17.78¢ per kWh 24 month plans instead, your monthly bill would only be about $64.

Strangely, the service fee is waived if you opt for the shortest commitment period of 12 months. At 17.62¢ per kWh with no service fee, the 12 month Chope the Rate plan is the actual cheapest plan out there.

There are no guarantees on what rate iSwitch will offer you after the contract expires, though, so be mentally prepared to jump ship then.

 

iSwitch Super Saver Discount – discount off tariff plans

iSwitch electricity plan Contract duration Price per kWh Monthly service fee
Super Saver Discount 24 months 23% off tariff = now 18.78¢ $5.297
Super Saver Discount Exclusive 12 months 22.8% off tariff = now 18.83¢ Waived

Next up are iSwitch’s discount off tariff plans, which are pegged to Singapore’s electricity tariff set by the EMA every quarter, i.e., what SP charges.

The tariff is currently 24.39¢, which makes iSwitch’s Super Saver Discount plans a bit more expensive than the fixed rate Chope the Rate plans. This is normal across the board, but some Singaporeans don’t mind because they benefit from dips in the tariff, like the recent one for Apr to Jun 2019.

With this sort of pricing structure, you will want to compare the discount rather than the actual current rate. 22.8% to 23% is pretty good, but be aware that there are several retailers offering the same or better, such as Ohm, Diamond Electric, Sunseap and ES Power. The cheapest one is Ohm (25% off) but, of course, terms & conditions differ from retailer to retailer.

Speaking of which, that pesky $5.297 a month service fee is also in place with iSwitch’s 24 month Super Saver Discount plan, but you can siam it if you opt for the 12 month version (slightly more expensive).

Look out, though, for the auto-renewal clause at the end of the contract period. According to the fact sheet, iSwitch will auto-renew your plan at a much lousier discount of 5% off the tariff. EMA requires retailers to inform customers of new rates at least 10 days before, so you can cancel your plan then.

 

iSwitch iPromo – 5% off tariff with free iPad

iSwitch electricity plan Contract duration Price per kWh Monthly service fee
iPromo – iPad 36 months 5% off tariff = now 23.17¢ $5.297

I can picture the iSwitch roadshow promoter selling their “iPad plan” to heartland uncles and aunties at the bus interchange. Just think: You can pay less than you currently do with SP, and you get a free iPad out of it! Huat ah!

… Yeah, except the rate of 5% off tariff – which makes the rate 23.17¢ per kWh now – is really really bad compared to the other plans.

Let’s compare it with the next most expensive iSwitch plan, the Super Saver Discount (24 months). It has the same monthly service fee as the iPromo, so we’ll discount that part. The rate is 23% off the tariff, which is 18.78¢.

That works out to a 4.34¢ per kWh difference. If your energy consumption is 360 kWh a month, the average for a 4-room HDB flat, that’s $15.62 extra you have to pay every month.

Multiply that by 36 months, and you’re basically paying $562.46 more over 3 years just to get a 2018 iPad – which actually costs less ($498) on the Apple Store. Not exactly worth it lah.

 

Next steps: iSwitch roadshows & promotions

iSwitch doesn’t have the usual slew of promo codes and bill rebates that many other retailers offer, so to get the best deal, you should probably go to a roadshow and try to squeeze the staff for freebies. You can check this calendar for iSwitch roadshows near you.

To make up for the lack of promo codes, iSwitch does bundle in a few bonus things with their electricity plans: AIA personal accident insurance + one-off air con servicing + “green certified electricity”. I couldn’t find details on any of them online, though.

Also, iSwitch customers can earn points by paying via GIRO (25 points), contract renewal (100 points) and/or referring people (500 points). These points can be redeemed for bill rebates at an exchange rate of 1 point = $0.10.

Have you signed up with iSwitch Singapore? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

 

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Open Electricity Market (OEM) Singapore – 10 Important Things to Know

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Electricity Prices in Singapore – 9 Hidden Costs To Watch Out For

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Clara Lim

I used to be MoneyDumb. I hung out at H&M every day and thought that a $50 lunch set was a good deal. These days, I spend my time researching the crap out of life and trying to maximise utility on micro-decisions. I'm not sure if that's an improvement.