Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry whether there is any study conducted to ensure that the liberalisation of the retail electricity market will benefit household consumers.
Oral Answer (to be attributed to Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Dr Koh Poh Koon)
1. Mr Speaker, the Open Electricity Market, or OEM, completes the Government’s efforts since 2001 to progressively liberalise the retail electricity market for all consumers. In deciding when and how to implement this liberalisation, the Government conducted studies and international reviews of other markets, to ensure that consumers are able to benefit from greater choice, competitive pricing and innovative offers with no change to the reliability of their electricity supply.
2. Following the successful soft launch of the OEM in Jurong, EMA commenced the nationwide zonal rollout of the OEM in November last year. By May this year, all business and residential consumers will be able to choose who to buy electricity from.
3. The nationwide launch of the OEM is progressing well. We observed that more households are choosing to switch. Zone 2 has seen a switch rate of about 19% in the first month, compared to 16% and 11% in the first month of Zone 1 and the soft launch in Jurong respectively. So, there is an increasing trend of more households switching. Households value the choice offered by the OEM, and are actively choosing the retailer and price plan that best meets their needs. Households who are looking to switch can benefit from a wide range of competitive offers, incentives, and promotions, such as referral programmes, loyalty programmes and bill rebates. Retailers are also offering value-added services and products through tie-ups with third-parties such as banks, telecommunications and home insurance companies.
4. Going forward, EMA will continue to work closely with the retailers to roll out the OEM to the remaining zones, and actively engage consumers to raise awareness of the OEM and help them to make informed choices.