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Sembcorp Power – Comparison & Review of Sembcorp Electricity Plans

sembcorp power electricity plans

Clara Lim

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Part of the same group as publicly-listed Sembcorp Marine, Sembcorp Power is one of the biggest names in the open electricity market in Singapore – one might even say they’re a real power player in the market.

They have a strong enough brand name to seem more reliable than the other electricity startups – and (possibly more importantly) enough muscle to bring us decent sign-up promotions.

Unfortunately, trying to choose a Sembcorp Power electricity plan is a huge pain in the ass, because, at last count, they had 12 different options, including some very strange plans that aren’t widely offered by other retailers.

If you’re trying to decide between Sembcorp electricity plans, here’s a guide to help you make sense of the options.

 

Sembcorp Power electricity plans comparison

Sembcorp Power plan Contract duration Price per kWh
No Contract Plan None 17.55¢ + 33¢/day fee
Fixed Price Plan 24 months 17.78¢
Fixed Price Plan 12 months 18.65¢
Discount Off Tariff Plan 24 months 22.5% off tariff = now 18.90¢
Discount Off Tariff Plan 12 months 20.5% off tariff = now 19.39¢
Sunshine Plan 12 months 21.40¢ (7am to 7pm) / 18.65¢ (7pm to 7am)
Flat Fee 450 kWh 24 months $78.99/month (~17.55¢)
Flat Fee 450 kWh 12 months $82.99/month (~18.44¢)
Flat Fee 600 kWh 24 months $104.99/month (~17.50¢)
Flat Fee 600 kWh 12 months $109.99/month (~18.33¢)
Flat Fee 900 kWh 24 months $157.99/month (~17.55¢)
Flat Fee 900 kWh 12 months $163.99/month (~18.22¢)

Sembcorp Power has a total of 12 electricity plans. When you go to their website, you’ll be prompted to enter your postal code, which will result in 2 or 3 “recommended” options for your property type. You have to play with the toggle to reveal all the plans.

In the table above, I arranged them in roughly ascending order of base price per kWh of electricity. The flat fee plans are all at the end, because you don’t pay per kWh but instead a standard amount that entitles you to a certain amount of usage per month.

Any hidden costs? Well, Sembcorp charges by the meter so there are no transmission loss charges, and carbon tax is factored into their fees. But note that there’s a $1 per bill fee for paper billing (e-bills are free), and you also need to put down a security deposit of $50 to $200 depending on your property type.

With that out of the way, let’s jump into the electricity plans proper.

 

Sembcorp Power No Contract Plan – fixed rate plan with daily fee

Sembcorp Power plan Contract duration Price per kWh
No Contract Plan None 17.55¢ + 33¢/day fee

In a bid to entice customers who are wary of signing up for a long contract, Sembcorp is one of the few electricity retailers to offer a no contract plan (only available through online sign up).

You have the freedom to switch to any other electricity retailer or even back to SP as long as you give 14 days’ notice. But it goes both ways: Sembcorp Power can also suka-suka revise your rates anytime, although they will also inform you 14 days before the change.

The base rate for the No Contract Plan is actually lower than all their other plans, but you need to pay an extra 33¢ per day to Sembcorp as an admin fee. That’s about $10 a month.

Assuming you live in a 4-room HDB flat and consume the average 360 kWh of electricity a month (hence 12 kWh a day), that works out to about 2.75¢ on top of the 17.55¢ per kWh. So your effective rate is 20.3¢ per kWh, which is definitely on the high side for a fixed plan.

But because the daily fee remains the same no matter what size your house is, the bigger your house, the more worth it it gets.

Although the daily fee is probably a turn-off for most people, I actually prefer this payment structure to Sembcorp’s contract plans, because Sembcorp charges incredibly high early termination fees.

While companies like Geneco charge a one-time fee of $60 to $720 (depending on property size) for early cancellation, Sembcorp charges per unexpired month. For example, if you live in an 4-room HDB flat and cancel 12 months ahead of contract expiry, you will pay $32.10 x 12 = $385.20. That’s practically half a year’s worth of electricity!

 

Sembcorp Power Fixed Price Plans – 12 month & 24 months

Sembcorp Power plan Contract duration Price per kWh
Fixed Price Plan 24 months 17.78¢
Fixed Price Plan 12 months 18.65¢

Okay, now we’re in familiar territory with Sembcorp’s fixed price electricity plans. There are no daily fees for this, and the price is locked in for the entire duration of the contract.

Sembcorp offers 12-month and 24-month variations of the Fixed Price Plan, offering a cheaper rate for the longer commitment period. (You’ll see them doing this with all their major plans.) Before you commit to the 24-month one, though, scroll up and double triple read what I wrote about their early termination charges.

Sembcorp’s 24 month Fixed Price Plan offers one of the lowest rates in town – 17.78¢ per kWh. Apart from iSwitch, which has a slightly cheaper plan, there are 4 other retailers offering the same package (17.78¢ per kWh for 24 months): Geneco, Keppel, Pacific Light and Senoko.

So if you’re attracted to the price rather than the brand, it might be worth it to compare the fact sheets of all 5 retailers.

On a side note, Sembcorp is currently offering a smart home variation of the 24 month Fixed Price Plan. You agree to pay 20.65¢ instead of 17.78¢ per kWh in exchange for a Google Home Mini, 2 smart plugs and 2 Magic Cubes. The difference of 2.87¢ works out to about $10 extra a month if you use 360 kWh a month (average for 4-room HDB).

 

Sembcorp Power Discount Off Tariff Plans – 12 months & 24 months

Sembcorp Power plan Contract duration Price per kWh
Discount Off Tariff Plan 24 months 22.5% off tariff = now 18.90¢
Discount Off Tariff Plan 12 months 20.5% off tariff = now 19.39¢

Next up are Sembcorp’s Discount Off Tariff (a.k.a. DOT) electricity plans. The price of electricity with these plans is pegged to the overall electricity tariff set by EMA every quarter (basically, what SP charges).

Since this rate changes every 3 months, you can expect some fluctuation in your electricity bill. EMA has just decreased the electricity tariff this quarter (April to June 2019) to 24.39¢, which makes DOT plans quite attractive. Of course, the tariff can still increase in the future – but even if it does, you’re still pay less than you would with SP.

The thing about choosing a DOT plan is that you don’t have to care what the current rate is. All you need to compare is the discount. Right now, the best rates on the market are 23% to 25% discount, which are offered by Ohm, Diamond Electric, Sunseap and ES Power.

At 22.5% off for the 24-month plan, Sembcorp is a little more expensive, but I guess it’s also a bigger name than the others. It’s still a pretty long commitment, so bear in mind the same caveats about Sembcorp’s early termination fees.

 

Sembcorp Power Sunshine Plan – green electricity plan

Sembcorp Power plan Contract duration Price per kWh
Sunshine Plan 12 months 21.40¢ (7am to 7pm) / 18.65¢ (7pm to 7am)

I didn’t really get what the Sembcorp Sunshine Plan was about at first. It seemed counterintuitive that you had to pay more for daytime electricity usage under this plan.

Turns out that it’s literally called the Sunshine Plan because Sembcorp supplies electricity from solar energy from 7am to 7pm – that’s why it actually costs more in the day. When it’s dark, you use the same energy as everyone else, which is why you pay the standard 12-month fixed rate of 18.65¢ per kWh from 7pm to 7am.

That makes absolutely no sense to me, because won’t people on this plan just end up using non-solar electricity at night to save money? Hmm.

Sembcorp does throw in free AMI meter and installation for this plan, so there’s that. Plus, they also do solar panel installation if it’s an option for you. This is at your own cost of course, but you will get a discounted rate if you consume electricity from your own panels.

If you do get this plan, though, make sure to set a calendar reminder to cancel the plan the moment it expires. If you don’t Sembcorp will auto-renew your plan for another 12 months, but under a completely different pricing structure – you’ll be charged 5% off the regulated tariff instead.

Alternative “green energy” plans you can also look into are: Sunseap, which specialises in solar energy, and ES Power, which offers carbon neutral electricity at cheaper rates.

 

Sembcorp Power Flat Fee Plans – telco-style electricity plans

Sembcorp Power plan Contract duration Price per month Price per kWh
Flat Fee 450 kWh 24 months $78.99 for 450 kWh ~17.55¢
Flat Fee 450 kWh 12 months $82.99 for 450 kWh ~18.44¢
Flat Fee 600 kWh 24 months $104.99 for 600 kWh ~17.50¢
Flat Fee 600 kWh 12 months $109.99 for 600 kWh ~18.33¢
Flat Fee 900 kWh 24 months $157.99 for 900 kWh ~17.55¢
Flat Fee 900 kWh 12 months $163.99 for 900 kWh ~18.22¢

In addition to the usual fixed rate, discount off tariff and green electricity plans – which are commonly offered by electricity retailers – Sembcorp Power also has what they call Flat Fee plans.

Instead of being billed according to your consumption, with a Flat Fee plan you pay a fixed amount for an electricity “bundle”, similar to how telco data subscriptions work.

You can use however much electricity as you like up to the bundle limit, after which you’ll have to pay for the excess at the rate of 10% discount off the regulated tariff. You do get a free AMI meter and installation bundled into the cost, which lets you (and Sembcorp) track your usage more accurately.

The cons of such a plan are immediately obvious – you don’t get any sort of incentive to reduce your electricity usage. Also, there’s not much you can do with the “excess” electricity at the end of the month, whereas with mobile data you can do on a YouTube binge. I mean, what are you gonna do – do your laundry 20 times?

The only way this type of plan would make sense is if you get a very deep discount in exchange for your commitment. In the table above, I’ve done the math to work out how much you’ll be paying per kWh if you successfully max out your bundles, and well, the savings aren’t exactly dramatic.

 

Next steps: Sembcorp Power promo codes & roadshows

If you’ve got your heart set on one of the Sembcorp Power plans, don’t sign up without one of these promo codes/promotions. Make sure to read the T&Cs thoroughly though – different credit card companies require you to do different things to earn the rebates.

Sembcorp promotion Mechanics Expiry
Standard Chartered One-off $50 rebate 30 Jun 2019
NTUC24 (promo code) One-off $50 rebate for 24 month plan 11 Sep 2020
Maybank (MBANK40) One-off $40 rebate 30 Apr 2019
American Express One-off $40 rebate 30 Jun 2019
NTUC12 (promo code) One-off $25 rebate for 12 month plan 11 Sep 2020

Apart from the usual credit card/NTUC membership promos, Sembcorp also has a “group buy” promotion where, if you get enough people from your block or estate (minimum 30 pax, for postal codes 34 to 83) to sign up together, you all enjoy a special rate, to be determined by Sembcorp.

Sembcorp Power signups also get the following freebies:

To find out more or to see if you can get a better deal at a roadshow, you can refer to this schedule of Sembcorp Power roadshows.

Have you signed up with Sembcorp Power? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

 

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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.