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Ohm Energy Review — Comparison of Ohm Singapore Electricity Plans

ohm energy review singapore

Though the open electricity market in Singapore is generally dominated by heavyweights like Keppel Electric and Sembcorp Power, what’s interesting is that relatively unknown Ohm Energy has also been quite strong.

The most obvious reason for their success so far is a referral incentive scheme, where if you successfully refer a friend/relative/stranger on the internet, both of you get $20 off your bills. (A couple of other electricity retailers, like Geneco and Best Electricity, have followed suit.)

Naturally, this sort of MLM promotion encourages users to post glowing but totally fake reviews. So — is Ohm Energy as good as its referral code-motivated evangelists say? Let’s have a look.

 

Ohm Energy review — Singapore electricity plan comparison

Ohm Energy plan Price per kWh Contract duration
Ohm Discount 25% off tariff = now 18.80¢ 6 months
Ohm Discount 25% off tariff = now 18.80¢ 12 months
Fixed Ohm 18.90¢ 6 months
Fixed Ohm 18.90¢ 12 months
Fixed Ohm 18.95¢ 24 months
Simply Ohm 17.98¢ + $10.70/month fee No contract
Market Ohm “Wholesale rate” + $10.70/month + various third party fees No contract

Ohm Energy offers 4 types of electricity plans, which they’ve helpfully compiled on their homepage.

Unfortunately, the information on their page is incomplete – prices are stated as “from XX” so you’re never too clear on how much it costs, and limited fact sheets are available to download from their site. I had to go to the official OEM website to look for the missing fact sheets. Tsk. Poor form, Ohm.

Ohm Discount and Fixed Ohm are the two standard electricity plans (discount off tariff and fixed price structure, respectively). The other options are the no-contract Simply Ohm plan and the puzzling Market Ohm, which we’ll cover at the end.

There are few barriers to signing up with Ohm Energy. Billing is done through SP, so there’s no need to pay a security deposit and you pay your bills exactly the same way as before. There are also no registration fees to become a customer (some plans do charge monthly admin fees though).

That said, you should be aware of the terms & conditions, most importantly the high early termination charge of $42.80 x every remaining month.

 

Ohm Discount — Ohm Energy discount off tariff plans

Ohm Energy plan Price per kWh Contract duration
Ohm Discount 25% off tariff = now 18.80¢ 6 months
Ohm Discount 25% off tariff = now 18.80¢ 12 months

Currently (get it?) Ohm Energy’s cheapest plans are the Ohm Discount plan, i.e. discount off the regulated tariff.

For the uninitiated, this “tariff” thing is the price of electricity is what SP charges, and is set every quarter by the EMA.

So, you would expect some fluctuation from quarter to quarter, even if your usage remains the same. And there’s always the risk of the tariff rising in the future — although, at the same time, you will enjoy dips in the tariff.

Ohm Energy’s discount of 25% off is the best in the market, compared to other retailers who are offering only 22% or 23%. Yup, this means your bill will always be 25% less than whatever SP charges, which sounds awesome.

Right now, the tariff is 25.07¢ for Oct to Dec 2019, which actually makes the Ohm Discount plans cheaper than their fixed price plans, quite the anomaly in the electricity market.

If you’re worried about switching to an unknown retailer like Ohm, it’s actually pretty low risk. They have a 3-month trial for all new users — the early termination fee is waived if you cancel within 3 months.

I’d say the drawback of the Ohm Discount plans is that they are offered only for 6 or 12 months. We don’t know if Ohm will continue to offer such a good discount after a year, so you may end up having to find a new retailer after the contract ends.

 

Fixed Ohm — Ohm Energy fixed price plans

Ohm Energy plan Price per kWh Contract duration
Fixed Ohm 18.90¢ 6 months
Fixed Ohm 18.90¢ 12 months
Fixed Ohm 18.95¢ 24 months

Next up are the Fixed Ohm plans, i.e. Ohm Energy’s fixed price plans where you lock in a standard rate for a period of 6 to 24 months.

Usually the price goes down when you commit longer, but Ohm’s 12 month plan costs a little less than their 24 month one, for some reason.

This type of plan is good if you’re pessimistic about energy prices like I am. I mean, there are dips every now and then in the regulated tariff, but in the long run I would expect the price to go up.

But if you’re thinking of locking in today’s electricity rate for a couple of years, you should look elsewhere, because Ohm’s fixed rates are considered expensive.

Even their best rate is 18.90¢ per kWh for 12 months, which is way above the market rates for fixed price plans. Tons of retailers are offering rates under 18¢ per kWh, and you can compare them here.

On the positive side, the same 3-month trial is also offered for the Fixed Ohm plans, so if you’re hesitant about the long commitment with other retailers, Ohm lets you try it out without the risk of early termination fees for 3 months.

 

Simply Ohm — Ohm Energy no contract plan

Ohm Energy plan Price per kWh Contract duration
Simply Ohm 17.98¢ + $10.70/month fee No contract

Simply Ohm is Ohm Energy’s no-contract electricity plan, which I gather is a way to entice newbies to this whole open electricity thing to sign up.

But it’s hardly enticing at all: Even the advertised rate of 17.98¢ per kWh is higher than what competitors offer for their fixed price plans, and that’s before you account for the $10.70/month admin fee, which is naughtily hidden inside the fact sheet.

For the sake of comparison, Sembcorp Power — one of the few retailers to offer a no-contract plan — offers a rate of 17.55¢ per kWh + 33¢/day fee (which works out to about $10/month as well). But at least the base rate is significantly cheaper than others on the market.

Remember also that the lack of commitment goes both ways. While you have the freedom to stop giving Ohm business without having to pay fees, Ohm can also adjust their rates any time they like, and they are obliged to give you only 10 business days’ notice.

Though Simply Ohm sounds like a good way to avoid being slapped with some of the heftiest early termination fees around, I think it’s actually redundant since Ohm offers a 3-month trial for their other regular plans.

 

Market Ohm — Ohm Energy wholesale electricity plan

Ohm Energy plan Price per kWh Contract duration
Market Ohm “Wholesale rate” + $10.70/month + various fees No contract

Finally — Ohm Energy’s Market Ohm is a very unusual electricity plan which supposedly offers wholesale electricity rates direct to the consumer.

This is for those smartypants who think they can game the system by “buying low”, i.e. consuming electricity when it’s cheap. Sounds great… until you realise that wholesale electricity prices change every half an hour. GG lah.

Okay, so let’s say you really want to go the wholesale route for fun by signing up for Market Ohm. There’s no contract, so that must be a good thing, right?

Well, it’s pretty hard to get a handle on what the actual wholesale rates are, because SP Group doesn’t publish them readily on their website.

You can request a report from SP, but there’s typically a lag time of at least 10 days, which isn’t very useful if you’re standing there with your finger on the washing machine power button, trying to decide when you should press it.

Also, with Ohm Energy, you will need to pay a bunch of fees on top of the wholesale electricity rate:

Market Ohm fee Price
Monthly admin fee $10.70 per month
Monthly price cap fee (optional) 0.86¢ per kWh
Off peak period charge 4.41¢ per kWh
Peak period charge 5.82¢ per kWh
Meter reading & data management fee $2.33 per meter
Market development & systems charge 0.4263¢ per kWh
EMC fees, PSO fees, Monthly Energy Uplift Charge (MEUC), Hourly Energy Uplift Charges (HEUC), Allocated Regulation Price (AFP) Variable

With so many variable costs, there’s no way to predict how much your electricity bill would be. Still, it’s a no-contract plan, so if you want to try it for fun, no one is stopping you.

By the way, you can also buy electricity wholesale from SP, but there’s hardly anything about how to do so online, nor on the extra costs of doing this. I suppose you will have to contact SP Services to enquire.

 

Next steps: Ohm Energy promo codes

To be fair to Ohm, some of their plans do seem legit.

In particular, the Ohm Discount plans give you an unbeatable 25% off your SP bill. I like that they bundle a 3-month trial into their contract plans for peace of mind. But possibly best of all, there’s no need to change your billing arrangement. As someone who hates admin with a passion: Woohoo!

So the logical next step is to sign up, but you’d be silly not to do so with a promo code. The internet absolutely abounds in Ohm Energy referral codes (check the Ohm Facebook page) so if you don’t already know someone using Ohm, you can use one from a complete rando on the internet.

Ohm Energy also has a loyalty rewards structure for Fixed Ohm and Ohm Discount users who decide to renew. You can get 3% to 5% discount off the next few electricity bills (if you extend your Fixed Ohm plan) or 1% to 1.5% extra discount off your rate (if you extend the Ohm Discount plan). But since we don’t know what the renewal rate would be, it’s hard to say if this is actually attractive.

Ohm is not as aggressive with the roadshows as some other competitors, as they rely more on referral codes to get the word out. But you can check their Facebook page to see if there are any upcoming roadshows.

Have you signed up with Ohm Energy? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

 

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