SINGAPORE: The COVID-19 “circuit breaker” period and hotter weather led to higher electricity usage for most households last month.
An average increase of 22 per cent in daily household electricity consumption was noted in May compared to February this year, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and SP Group said in a news release on Tuesday (Jun 16).
“Singapore households’ electricity consumption typically increases from April through August. This is because the weather tends to be hotter in these months, and households use more electricity to power their fans or air-conditioners to stay cool.”
More Singaporeans also refrained from going out, as well as worked and studied from home during this period.
Under normal circumstances, SP Group said it will send meter readers to visit households to record their electricity, water and gas consumption every alternate month.
However, these services were suspended from Apr 7 to Jun 1 in line with the safe distancing measures to minimise the transmission of COVID-19.
READ: Fortitude Budget: Additional S$800 million set aside for COVID-19 Support Grant; S$100 one-off utilities credit
For households who do not have advanced electricity meters and also did not submit their own meter readers, their April and May consumption was estimated based on previous months’ consumption data.
This would result in an underestimation of their bills for these months, said EMA and SP Group.
As physical meter readings resumed from Jun 2, the accumulated underestimated consumption amounts will be adjusted in the households’ June or July bill. These bills could then be higher than the April and May amounts.
About 300,000 households have advanced electricity meters and their electricity consumption is read remotely. These households would be billed based on their actual consumption for April and May.
EMA and SP Group encouraged households to submit their own meter readings so as to be billed on their actual consumption.
They can submit their meter readings via the SP Utilities app, SP Utilities Portal or automated phone system at 1800 222 2333.
Households may also submit a photo of their meter via WhatsApp to 8482 8636 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Households can refer to their SP bills for their meter submission period and can submit their meter readings up to three days from the scheduled meter reading date.
For those who have downloaded the SP Utilities app, they can also set an alert for their meter reading submission period.
READ: Budget 2020: S$1.6 billion Care and Support Package to help Singaporeans with household expenses
As part of the Budget 2020 Care and Support Package, eligible Housing and Development Board (HDB) households will receive double their regular GST Voucher U-Save this year. Eligible households with five or more members will receive an additional GST Voucher - U-Save rebate.
The next round of disbursement of the regular GST Voucher U-Save rebate and GST Voucher U-Save Special Payment will be in July.
The first disbursement of the additional GST Voucher U-Save rebate for eligible larger households with five or more members will be in October.
As part of the recently announced Fortitude Budget, each household with at least one Singapore Citizen will receive a one-off S$100 Solidarity Utilities Credit for doing their part in staying home during the circuit breaker period.
This amount will be credited in the July or August utilities bill with SP Group and covers all property types.
In support of the Government’s Resilience Budget measures to freeze all government fees and charges for one year, SP Group also said it has deferred S$343 million in grid charges and maintained its grid fee to customers.