Friday, July 18, 2008
Erm, can I have my bill? Grande-Sized please and thank you.

Today is the day i return to school, thought i'm not feeling my 100% =.=''' (i guess i'm feeling 65-70%?). I'm still having stomach aches/pains on and off but at least i feel MUCH better than the two days before.

Anyways back to the matter i wanted to blog about today. The "inspiration" for today's post came while on my way to school. I actually heard about it a lonnnnggg time back, but now listening to some of the public views made on the air, it got me thinking. What am I talking about? Our electrical bills of course.

Singapore Power or SP (not to be confused with Singapore Polytechnic), has released several statements to several forms of media like the newspaper and radio. Heres a response given to several disgruntled customers , who had written in to the Today newspaper. It is taken from the Todayonline website (link here)

Why you’re feeling the pinch :Hotter weather, highertariffs among the reasons
Letter from Koh Puay Ling (Ms)
Manager (Customer Services)
SP Services Ltd
I REFER to the feedback from your readers, Yan Dawei and Claire Elaine Jerusha Devan on their utility bills in the letters, “Why the sudden surge?” and “No lifestyle change, but bill soaring” (July 4).
We would appreciate it if they could contact us on 6823 8202 to provide us with their account numbers so that we can look into their specific bills.
There are various factors that may have an impact on utility bills. They include:
1.Changes in electricity tariffs
The electricity tariffs for households have increased for four consecutive quarters from 18.88 cents/kWh in April-June 2007 quarter to 23.88 cents/kWh in April-June this year and most recently to 25.07 cents/kWh for the July-September quarter due to rising oil prices. Some customers may begin to feel the cumulative impact of the increases only now.
2.Previous estimated bill
Bills are estimated in alternate months based on previous actual meter readings. Some customers’ meter readings in April this year may be under-estimated and when the actual readings were taken in May, the bill amount would be higher due to the adjustments for the under-billing in April.
3.Higher consumption
Consumption tends to be higher for the second and third quarters of the year compared to the first and last quarters due to the hotter weather. When the weather is hot, consumers tend to use more water and air-conditioning which can lead to higher energy use. Moreover, during the hotter months, air-conditioning consumes more power to maintain the same temperature compared to the cooler months.
4.Billing period
A typical billing cycle may vary from month to month, between 28 days and 32 days. The billing period may include five weekends, which could result in a perceived increase in the bill.
5.School holidays
Electricity usage can increase when there are more people and activities in the home during holidays and school vacations (for example, in May and June).
Customers can check if their consumption has increased by looking at the six-month consumption graph at the end of their bill. They can take the average of the two months April/May this year and compare it with February/March to see the change in consumption for the two periods. They can contact us at our customer service hotline 1800 222 2333 if they need any clarification regarding their utility bills.
Customers may also visit our website at and the National Environment Agency’s website at for tips on saving electricity.

Well the reasons are quite reasonable, that is when you read it on paper/print. However during the radio show on 938Live this morning, some of the viewers stories really started to poke holes at some of the reasons that SP gave. A story that really got me thinking was of this lady, she had her family of 4 reduced to 3, due to the fact her child had enlisted into the army. Further more, She said her child was the person who used the most energy around the house. Hence even with the Tarrif increase and/or an increased temperature, the reduction of usage would either have made the bill increase abit at most right? WRONG! In fact, she said her bill INCREASED by a $100!Wow man.

Second Case, is of a guy. He doesn't like normal people (but he's not abnormal) check only the total amount needed to be paid, but instead he checks how much electricity he has used. well guess what? His average usage was about 400KwH but it jumped to 1000+Kwh! Now thats like a 150% INCREASE in usage!

And you wan to know the "BEST" part? These two unfortunate parties called Singapore Power, to ask for an explanation, and to cut a long story short, all Singapore Power did was sent some people to "check" on the meter, and on both occasions, they simply replied "The meter's working fine" What in the world sia.

Another point that raises my eyebrow is reason no. 2. If you gonna tell me that our bill's increase is caused by the inaccurate estimation, can i ask you guys why are you even using such inaccurate methods? This isn't exactly like a once in a while thing, but has been happening almost now FREQUENTLY!

So in ending heres a small note to Singapore Power.

Dear Singapore Power,
Please even a student like I feel the reasons you give us people of singapore, are like those u give a three year old. Please get a better system because these bill hikes is absurb. with rising food/transportation/living cost. DON'T MAKE OUR LIVES HARDER THAN IT IS! Also if you gonna give the same response of sending your people to our houses to " check" our meter and eventually "find" that nothing is wrong with it, DON'T ASK PEOPLE TO CALL YOU FOR ASSISTANCE CAUSE IT'S NO HELP AT ALL! thank you. =(

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