Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Best of Pay-As-You-Use Metering Scheme in Singapore

In Singapore, the Pay-As-You-Use Metering Scheme was implemented (by SP Services and the Energy Market Authority of Singapore) in 2005 to ensure that consumers who default frequently can better manage their electrical usage by opting for this scheme in which consumers will have to purchase credit keys to top-up the credit value of  the electric meter. For the credit value, 20% of the value will be used for paying the arrears, while 80% will be used for the actual top-up. A display screen will highlight the amount remaining (or credit balance) to remind consumers to top-up when the value is low. Noteworthy to mention that this scheme has been adopted in other countries.

There are a lot we can benefit from such scheme if we look at the whole thing positively. For example, as a good Samaritan and knowing that there are fellow neighbours who are not doing well, we can purchase these keys and top-up for them anonymously. I have seen Social workers and volunteers helping these households by topping up their Prepaid meters. Such prepaid meter should allow better management of electric utility and paying of bills.

Prepaid is not that bad and should be considered as advantageous to some people because such payment scheme can help better manage usage and bill payment (as compared to postpaid). It is hassle but at least consumers will not chalk up too much arrears.

I have not seen a prepaid meter and can't find it on the web. Anyone has seen it in their HDB area? Also, there isn't any information about how we can help pay for less-fortunate households who might need our assistance. I guess we can get more information from National Council of Social Service (NCSS) or Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). For a list of members Voluntary Welfare Organisation (VWO), a list can be accessed from NCSS.


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