SP Services and EMA recently launched a pilot to enable participating consumers to compare their electricity consumption against that of their neighbours. Could you share more on the objectives of this pilot and how consumers can benefit from it?
Residential consumers who have signed up for electronic bills can now compare their electricity consumption with the average consumption of their neighbours living in the same block or street. By providing more granular comparative data to consumers, we hope consumers are more aware of their usage pattern and are encouraged to use electricity more efficiently.
What other initiatives have SP Services planned to encourage energy efficiency in Singapore? With the hotter months of June and July approaching, what are some energy efficiency pointers that you would like to share with our readers?
With the positive response we received on the neighbour consumption comparison data, we are now working to enhance the types of data to be made available to consumers and the display of the data. The objective is to present information in a more interesting way that engages consumers and motivates them to save electricity. We plan to enable consumers to conduct energy self-audits, actively track their usage and set targets to reduce consumption. The enriched information will also be available through mobile devices.
In Singapore, we find that two of the biggest users of energy are the air-conditioner and the refrigerator. Using energy efficient appliances can help reduce energy usage. SP Services' website www.spservices.com.sg provides useful tips on how to save energy such as setting your air-conditioner temperature at 25 degrees or switching off the stand-by power of your appliances when not in use.
SP Services believes in and continually strives to improve service delivery to consumers. Please share with us some of the work that SP Services has done over the years.
At SP Services, we strive to provide STAR service — service that comes with a Smile, that is Timely, Accessible and Reliable. We are the only utility company in the world that activates consumers' electricity, gas and water supplies in one business day. We provide a convenient one-stop service whereby customers can simply make a call or a click online to open their accounts. Customers want fast and hassle-free service so we regularly review and improve our processes to meet their needs. At our customer service centre, we provide hassle-free service to customers, without having them to fill up forms. We have also introduced a utility portal that allows customers to retrieve 13 months of bill history. We will continue to leverage on technology to be more efficient and effective. Our aim is to provide the best service at the lowest possible cost. In the last 10 years, the average market support services fee has been reduced by 39 percent. Grid charges for electricity have also come down over the years due to increased efficiencies and technology.
The electricity market was further liberalised on 1 April 2014, with more non-residential consumers able to choose their electricity retailers. Can you share how the response has been so far and the steps SP Services has put in place to enhance service delivery for contestable consumers?
The contestability threshold was lowered to 8 MWh on 1 April 2014 and will be further lowered to 4 MWh by 1 October 2014. Consumers can also aggregate their accounts to meet the required consumption level for contestability. Some 70,000 accounts are now eligible for contestability, which is a 10-fold increase from the number of contestable accounts currently. Response has been good. We now have some 7,000 new contestable accounts and more consumers have also indicated interest to be contestable. We have launched a portal www.MyPower.com.sg which enables consumers to check if they are eligible for contestability and to obtain their half-hourly consumption if they are contestable.