Here’s something ironic: before 2000, the telecommunication industry was monopolised by one company: Singtel.
And it’s reasonable: back then, the Internet was still in diapers, smartphone existed only in Star Trek and Mark Zuckerberg was only 16 years old. The coolest gadget was this…
…and only the rich fellows had it.
But way before 2000, Singtel already knew they won’t be the only telecom in Singapore: in 1996, the Government informed Singtel that they were going to open up the market for other players to come in, and in they came: now, in 2019, we’ve got Starhub, M1 and many other telecoms fighting for a slice of the pie.
A pregnant woman was so annoyed at a noisy baby that she threw a pot of burning mala at the baby. At the worst part of this? She wasn’t charged. Click on the image below to read about this shocking incident:
As the market was opened earlier than agreed, Singtel received SGD$1.5 billion in compensation from the Government back then.
And as of 2016, Singtel has only 48.7% of the mobile subscriber market share.
The tides have now turned: with the launch of the Open Electricity Market, Singtel is now jumping on the bandwagon to sell electricity as SP Group would no longer be the only retailer to sell consumer electricity.
So, what talking me?
Nationwide Launch of Open Electricity Market
You’ll need to understand the Open Electricity Market for this article to make sense.
If you look old enough to be someone paying the electricity bills in your household, chances are you’d have been stopped by someone in the mall, in the petrol station or just about anywhere with these three words: “Have you switched?”
Since 1 November 2018, certain households in Singapore can switch their electricity retailers–they no longer need have to buy electricity from merely SP Group.
Here’s the exact rollout schedule:
(For your info, people in Jurong could buy from other retailers since April 2018 as part of a soft launch.)
According to a The Sunday Times article, about 30% of those eligible to change have done so.
As of now, there are over 10 electricity retailers fighting for your wallet, and one of them has just called it quits last week.
No doubt it’s a highly competitive market; after all, just think about it: For mobile phone network, each individual would have at least one line, and even with that massive market, there are only three key players: Singtel, M1 and Starhub.
For electricity, every household just need one account and there are more than ten players. I bet my boss’s smelly socks that sooner or later, another company is going to exit the market soon and we’ll be left with just three or four companies in the near future.
Starhub & M1 Also Selling Electricity
What you might not know (you’d know if you come to our app daily!) is that both Starhub and M1 have also jumped on the bandwagon, selling electricity way before Singtel’s foray.
Back in March 2018, Starhub announced its partnership with energy firm Sunseap to resell electricity, promising an ambitious “clean energy” electricity to consumers at a lower rate. As Jurong was the only area that is opened, their focus was then on the western part of Singapore.
However, after a few months, they called it quit even before the first phase of the OEM is opened: they exited the market quietly and consumers would continue with their partner Sunseap.
In other words, Red Dot Power was technically not the first retailer to bow out.
Incidentally, M1 is still going strong (at least they’re still around) with their partnership with Keppel Electric to sell electricity, and bundled their electricity sales with their telecom deals.
Today (10 January 2019), it’s announced that Singtel is finally jumping on the bandwagon as well.
Singtel X Geneco
You’d have noticed that the other two telcoms entered the market with a partner, and that’s for a reason: telcoms have the customer database while electricity retailer doesn’t.
For an electricity retailer to market their products and penetrate the market would be an uphill and expensive task, so why not partner with, say, a telcom?
Singtel is no exception: they’ve partnered up with Geneco, a brand of YTL PowerSeraya (see what I meant? You know Singtel but most likely didn’t know about Geneco).
Geneco is an authorised electricity retailer, and they sell electricity to homes, businesses, and industries across Singapore. Its parent company, YTL PowerSeraya, is one of Singapore’s largest power generators, with 48 years of experience in power generation. Geneco’s eco-friendly ethos stems from the United Kingdom, where Geneco UK – part of the wider YTL Group of companies – is known for its work in recycling and renewable energy.
Singtel is…wait, you need me to introduce Singtel to you? Singtel is Singtel lah.
Together, they come out with one of the most creative names ever: Singtel Power.
Singtel Power promises up to 30% off your electricity bills and they’ve done a nifty chart on their website to show you the discount:
Currently, their 24-month plan promises a fixed rate of 17.98 cents per kWh. The current rate from SP Group is 25.52 cents per kWh, so technically as of this quarter, you do save 29.54% if you switch now.
And if you opt for the 36-month contract, it’ll be lower at 17.88 cents per kWh.
But honestly, it’s not the price that’s attractive. Take a look at this.
They’re matching the price if anyone spots a retailer selling cheaper than them. That could imply that they’re serious about a price war here.
Of course Singtel’s going to bundle their electricity with Internet, because got electricity no Internet is useless, right?
If you sign up for their 1Gbps Fibre Broadband for 24 months and Singtel Power, you’ll get a month free and $80 off handsets.
Can or Not?
Given that two companies (Starhub and Red Dot Power) exited the market in the last three months when the market is not even fully mature yet, you’ve got to wonder: can or not?
But in any case, during the exit of the companies, electricity wan’t disrupted, so you’ve got nothing to lose.
In fact, with Singtel, you need to worry more about Internet disruption instead of electricity disruption #justsaying
You can find out more about Singtel Power here.
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