The Online Citizen

Misleading electricity tariff chart

January 02
11:44 2012

the following is a letter from a TOC reader:

I refer to the recent announcement on the increase in electricity tariff.  In major newspapers, SP Services published a chart comparing the prices of fuel oil against the prices of electricity tariffs over time.

The chart is misleading because the tariff axis is over-extended.  While the oil price axis ranges up to 180, which just covers the maximum fuel price (155.14 in Oct 08) for the period in comparison, the tariff axis does not follow the same principle of charting. Instead it mirrors the oil price axis, having the top end of the axis range at 180.  As a result, the fluctuations in the electricity tariffs are not clearly depicted and it gives a misperception that the electricity tariffs are not rising as much or as fast a rate as the fuel oil price.

To show a better comparison between the electricity tariff and the fuel oil price, I suggest the tariff axis to range up to 35, to just cover the maximum tariff (30.45 in Oct 08).  This will show the fluctuations of the electricity tariff vis-a-vis those of the fuel oil price better, graphically.


Keok Tong San

  • FPC

    I dare the sp to show the return series of the fuel oil prices and the return series of the electricity prices.

    we will see that the gradient is more than 1.

  • fpc

    why is the price of electricity peg to oil prices when we don’t use oil to generate electricity?

  • StupidSolutions

    Can someone pls post what the chart should actually look like? Thanks.

  • hangman

    I just want to ask a simple question of our govt. When the price of fuel goes up, electricity goes up. This I can well understand. But when the price of oil goes down, why doesnt the price of electricity seem to go down as well? Why is the buck always passed down to us end users? What happens to the surplus when the price of oil goes down? Can a ministar please answer me. I like to learn new things all the time.

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  • Singaporean

    My PUB bill shot up from an average of $100 to $200 over the past one year, I am really puzzled as we are very careful in our usage. Therefore, I am really questioning how the SP Services came out with an average of $2.40 increase for a 4-room flat?

    PUB bill is shooting rocket high, that leave me to wonder if SP services is a profit making organization? I couldnt find SP services on Singapore Stocks Exchange but SP Service’s subsidiary, SP AusNet is a listed company in Singapore Exchange. That leaves me wonder, profit making is unavoidable and we, the end users would suffer…. sigh

  • traveller

    In the UK, where energy markets have been liberalized, households utilities bills continue to be exorbitant. This reflects the failure of UK government policy.

    Here in Singapore, although SP Services retains a near monopoly, their pricing remains very competitive and our utilities bills remain very cheap and affordabel to all. When fuel oil price increase, it is only right for SP Services to increase their electricity tariff. We can’t expect SP Services to be running losses forever just to subsidize our electricity usage.

  • L J Loongan

    As long as Opposition is not auditing everything, there lies a risk, technically speaking.

  • James

    The issue here is why are we pegging the electricity tariffs to oil prices when the source of fuel for power generation is natural gas? The price of natural gas has been quite stable as far as I know. There is no justification at all on the hike.

  • fpc

    there is a positive correlation between increasing ft population in Singapore and the increase in electricity price.

    There is no secret, ft also uses electricity and drive up electricity demands and therefore prices.

    the govt should pay for the resultant increase since that’s one of the undesirable policy outcome.

    And also, SP should stop lying through its statistics, there is no way the increase in electricity price is 3 dollars for 4 room flat.

    This is a joke.

  • mopman

    why not just do it yourself and show us? not that hard to make your own chart what…

  • Addis Abbaba

    @ fpc,
    I agreed with your comment,why is the price of electricity peg to oil price when we don’t use oil to generate electricity.Hope that the opposition team question EMA & the Goverment in Parliament over this matter.

  • Electives

    Electricity will go down near Election time. Alternatively there will be the socalled rebates.

    One need not go for a Diploma in Electioneering to understand the entire manipulative system.

  • LL

    what can you sickaporeans do? LL right?

  • http://Website(optional) iworkhardsometimes

    Temasek Holdings sold:

    1) Tuas Power to China Huaneng

    2) Senoko Power to a japan based consortium

    3) PowerSeraya to Malaysia’s YTL Power International

  • http://Website(optional) iworkhardsometimes

    when oil prices go up – sorry we have to increase electricity tariffs, write pages of grand articles complete with fancy charts, bells, whistles, reindeer and the full package.

    when oil prices go down – sorry cannot revise electrical prices down because we use natural gas to generate power, not oil.

  • Laughing loud

    .Local singaporeans screwed and betrayed and sg gov bankrupt. Cpf bankrupt.

  • rockabyebaby

    @fpc, GCT as PM when he openned the first and only gas pipeline from todate, he said that gas will be charged (and paid too!) at crude oil prices! Gas has lower heat value but is cleaner. Yet is still lower in price due to it’s lower heat value then diesel. So, was GCT smart or smug-smart in his deal with Indonesia in the paid to Indonesia? Is government paying to them at gas rates but charging us at crude oil rates?

    That’s another PAP conundrum? And if so, then…
    “A truth that is told with bad intent,
    Beats all the lies you can invent”
    -William Blake

  • zero

    The problem with the graph is NOT because of the reasons given by the author of this article. The author stated that the dimensioning of 180 on both Y axes for tarif and fuel price is not fair.

    In actual fact as a matter of principle, for fair comparison, the units used in both the Y axes must be the same, e.g. showing 180 in both.

    So what is wrong?>
    Here is the answer.
    The tarifs is based on $ per KILOWAT
    But the fuel is $ per BARRLEL.

    Because these units are not compatible, it is meaningless to compare the graphs and conclude that since the price rise is more gentle than the costprice, PAP is very good. THIS IS MISLEADING and CHEATING use of statistics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Since we do not know how much KILOWAT one BARREL of oil produce, it is meaningless to compare the slope of the graphs. For the graph to makes sense we need to know, how many kilowat does a barrel of oil produce>?

    For example if a barrel of oil produces 10 billion kilowat, or 1000 kilowat of power, these two figures will result in very different conclusions as to whether the rise in price per barrel justifies the increase in price per Kilowat!!!!!

    zero

  • LMAO

    @fpc and @Addis Abbaba

    Then what do we use to generate electricity, pray tell.

    Better google “how is electricity produced” before you embarass yourselves further.

  • BK

    CHEATING

  • LMAO

    Bottom line is, no one except the govt has the real figures – how much oil vs gas is used to produce electricity and what @zero highlighted.

    Maybe write to ST forum and ask.

  • Laughing loud

    The problem with the graph is NOT because of the reasons given by the author of this article. The author stated that the dimensioning of 180 on both Y axes for tarif and fuel price is not fair.

    In actual fact as a matter of principle, for fair comparison, the units used in both the Y axes must be the same, e.g. showing 180 in both.

    So what is wrong?>
    Here is the answer.
    The tarifs is based on $ per KILOWAT
    But the fuel is $ per BARRLEL.

    Because these units are not compatible, it is meaningless to compare the graphs and conclude that since the price rise is more gentle than the costprice, PAP is very good. THIS IS MISLEADING and CHEATING use of statistics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Since we do not know how much KILOWAT one BARREL of oil produce, it is meaningless to compare the slope of the graphs. For the graph to makes sense we need to know, how many kilowat does a barrel of oil produce>?

    For example if a barrel of oil produces 10 billion kilowat, or 1000 kilowat of power, these two figures will result in very different conclusions as to whether the rise in price per barrel justifies the increase in price per Kilowat!!!!!

    zero

    —-
    If really true, can toc or readers pls raise concern to file complaints to pub and higher authority. Monthly
    meter might be tampered also.

    Thanks

  • Laughing loud

    Laughing Loud
    2 mins ago
    We should all request online all official statistics released by officials to be audited by Alternate parties, members of the publics and local auditing company.

    Vote of no confidence for the data they release from now on

  • zero

    to “laughing loud”

    trying to complain in this unfair Land is useless unless you are connected. Firstly there is no investigative journalism. In ohter countries, there is some form of media to help you get a fair hearing. not in singapore. so you can cry for all you want, no use. Secondly, we have a dictatorship. We have to wait, wait, until they go up the mandai route. IT’s a matter of time. All dictators return to dust too.

    I have been complainging for years about double taxation of Pub bills. You know there is the water conservancy tax when you use above a certain amount above the national average. Then they slap a GST on that water conservancy tax again in the total bill. Isn’t it ridiculous? If every citizen were to file a claim for >20 years of double taxation, i thnk the govt has to pay out millions and millions of dollars of rebates. Think of it, a million utility accounts over >> 20years.

    But life goes on .. people not so free to challenge the government, whether it is the bad graphical charts here, or double taxation stuffs…they have their own ricebowl to consider and you must be a crazy fellow to challenge the govt.

    zero

  • tiredsingaporean

    My PUB bill shot up from an average of $100 to $200 over the past one year, I am really puzzled as we are very careful in our usage. Therefore, I am really questioning how the SP Services came out with an average of $2.40 increase for a 4-room flat?

    You guys be very careful and check on your average monthly PUB bills. Yes, they sky rocketed like nobody business and is happening to many household now if you do not check on them. Everytime, you complain, they would tell you its an estimated billing only but that was total bullshit. Already 5 of us including my siblings, neighbours and working colleagues are facing the same problem. You know what? they are in to profiteer from those unaware household. Take mine for a good example, a 4 room flat with an average monthly bill of between $160-$180 has sky rocketed to $350.00 within a year. How do you justify that? No one really knows and the garment is keeping very quiet about this probably someone direct or indirectly could have some shares in the SP, you people go and check. Its daylight robbery. If this should happened in other country, probably some pople may have thier head cut off by the people. Sad this is singapore and there is nothing anyone could do about it.

  • Ministerial and civil pension and pay reviews

    @zero,

    However, we still need to do it. Matter of time. People are boiling frogs. Boil them or be boiled

  • Victor 54

    This is the way to squeeze our PUB bill and so that they (Ministers)can get high pay lah.

  • We’re Singaporeans!

    Oil prices had crashed but my PUB bill is higher and higher every year! I just cannot understand but no one cares!

    I pay tax on my utility bills and on top of that I also pays GST! Tax on tax!

    Do you belief that? But in Singapore this is what happens!

  • truedirect

    We should ask Lawrence Wong. He was the Chief Executive of the Energy Market Authority (EMA) prior to his resignation from the Administrative Service. At EMA, Wong initiated efforts towards more competitive and sustainable energy options.

    If gas prices are relatively stable, why are we paying more with oil price rises/

  • zero

    to @Ministerial and civil pension and pay reviews

    hello pal.
    “we” have to do it. How about you?

    It is eternal problem. Remember the story “who will bell the cat”. Everyone knows what to do but few will risk their lives. We just live each day and get by and 忍。

    The day cometh. Be patient, tarry awhile more. The day cometh. The Mandai route. It is the safest way for everybody.

    zero

  • Arthero Lim

    Singapore is truly unique because our people only complain when it hurts their pockets.

    Why are we citizens not disgusted when the government sold these only power stations to foreign countries? And knowing that maybe they may jack up the fees someday since their only interest is to own a profit-making asset and not to provide public service?

    It is either we are totally ignorant of this fact or we are naive enough to believe that the government is doing it
    for some good reasons.

    I cannot imagine if one of these foreign buyers would to have a dispute with our nation someday.Say,if Japan and Singapore were to have a political fallout and Japan decides to teach us a lesson by cutting off our power supply in protest for a week. Life would be more than chaotic then.

    But do we Singaporeans really care enough to be prepared for the unexpected?

    As an oppositionist, I feel truly disappointed that we citizens have not protested against the sale of these power stations to foreign countries in the first place.

    We have been too accommodating to the PAP government’s decisions.

    Just imagine,what if they were to sell our Water plants,MRT or airport someday?

    Would we then wait to complain of price hikes in water and travel?

    I seriously think Singaporeans need to rethink now where they are being led to by this government.

    Not when it’s too late to feel sorry…

  • Cinder

    Thanks to the author for his sharp observation. SP Services has intentionally compressed the electricity price in the chart so as to show little fluctuation. I congratulate them for being merciful enough not to extend the electricity price axis to 1,000,000. If they had done so, then the electricity price would all be compressed into an almost horizontal straight line, thus giving the misleading impression that there had been no change in electricity price at all.

  • Sear Pork Long

    You people deserve it for Accepting no opposition mp to Audit the glc.

  • webex

    Is this just another nail being hammered into the existing government?

    Electrical tariffs, hawkers prices, transport fares, GST…. on and on, the relelentless march upward continues.

    Yes, the increase may be a bit here and there but they all add up. And with online forums like TOC, the critical comments will galvanize in size and ferocity.

    The Occupy movement will soon become Occupy the Forums with massive voices of protests via the Internet.

  • Zhang

    Less than 20% of electricity generation use fuel-oil… Think abt it

  • hmmm

    If you check the government’s website, Singapore’s power generation shifted towards the use of natural gas over the past few years, hence explaining why electricity tariffs did not increase as much as the price of fuel oil. I think this actually proves that the government is putting in effort to keep energy prices low for the citizens, and also for companies in Singapore.

  • Pingback: “LIES, damn lies and statistics” and two local examples? « Thoughts of a Cynical Investor

  • Fed-Up

    Hey Guys,Do you all notice that SP bill all it’s customers for payments from the middle of the month.Citizens get paid almost at the end of the month..How to pay the bill by 19th – 22nd..of every month.They act like they are a Entreprise Company making profits only…Late payments additional charges..X the numbers of 90% of late payments $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for them. IF you ask them , their CRO will tell politely that it is their POLICY.SP always in the Black..REAL PARASITES SUCKING BLOOD,WORST THEN VAMPIRES….

  • Ah Lau

    Oil prices at the pump in North America has fallen to an average of US$3.20 from a high of $4 earlier in 2011. Prices of electricity & gas has stabilized even when demand is high because of winter in the northern hemisphere. However, in tropical SG, the prices of oil and electricity seemed to rise in contradiction to other countries. It just shows that the rise in fuel prices in SG is pure profiteering. They just want to suck money out of you guys, the consumers, because they can!

  • Sear Pork Long

    Is it that they have no solution except to hike?

    Let me do the job. I also know how to hike.

    Phua Chee B

  • Jo Teo Gao Gan

    Why is it we only are questioning ?
    Oil is 20% yet they use this as excuse to hike?

    How many do not know?

    Why we cannot synergise the 40%?

    We dont need the 60% because we already are Critical Mass.

  • rockabyebaby

    @hmmm 3 January 2012,

    Before you gave your view I quote below, did you read and verify my posting on rockabyebaby 2 January 2012 to:

    @fpc, GCT as PM when he openned the first and only gas pipeline from todate, he said that gas will be charged (and paid too!) at crude oil prices!
    Quote
    If you check the government’s website, Singapore’s power generation shifted towards the use of natural gas over the past few years, hence explaining why electricity tariffs did not increase as much as the price of fuel oil. I think this actually proves that the government is putting in effort to keep energy prices low for the citizens, and also for companies in Singapore.

    Unquoting @hmmm

  • Mark

    Crude oil are priced in US dollars. In 2008, US$1=S$1.45 on average. In 2011, US$1=S$1.25 on average… Weaker US dollars indeed.

  • ben

    Gov is good at manufacturing misleading statistics.

    Remember when they said Singaporeans are choosy and MBT came out to give a survey so many first timers are rejecting flats.
    And then later, he also came out a survey that HDB is VERY AFFORDABLE because it is only using 25% of our medium income.

    Sg property against Tokyo property prices blah blah.

    Our gov is really good at tweaking statistics because Singaporeans are guillible and 60% ok with the policies. Nothing much we can do!

  • Fooled

    For the past two decades we had been fooled and are being fooled by manipulative statistics.

  • iKICKtravellerBAG

    traveller2 January 2012
    Here in Singapore, although SP Services retains a near monopoly, their pricing remains very competitive and our utilities bills remain very cheap and affordabel to all.
    …………..
    for an shole who don’t lived in singapoor earnin british sterlin pounds do find singapoor utility affordtable…
    why don’t YOU says UK cars are more affordtable?
    no COE/erp as well..

  • Perspective

    In a country that taxes you on the amount you pay as tax ( income tax, water tax etc + GST ), and tax your property based on hypothetical amount you could have earned if you rent it out, what can you expect?

    Perhaps we should all rent out our homes and live in tents at East Coast Park. The water is free from the public toilets, and if we can tap electricity from the lamp posts, that would be free too.

  • Jo Teo Gao Gan

    Sg currency strengthened vs usd.

    Oil priced at usd.

    Lhl, why the …. hike when only 20% electric production depends on oil?

    Regards
    Sear blanket

  • Piggy

    @zero
    “I have been complainging for years about double taxation of Pub bills. You know there is the water conservancy tax when you use above a certain amount above the national average. Then they slap a GST on that water conservancy tax again in the total bill. Isn’t it ridiculous? ” …Yes it is…I am happy a fellow singaporean notice this too…so many of my friends looked at me blankly when I tell them about this tax on tax…For companies, after paying GST, still need to pay corporate tax on taxable profits…”beautiful” tax system we have :(
    The people of Hong Kong, Taiwan & Malaysia don’t ever fall into this GST or VAT trap ;)

  • rockabyebaby

    Dear @Piggy to @zero,

    Malaysia does have a goods tax at 7%. Don’t if that has increased in the last couplt of years. Need to refer to any new receipts for purchase in JB.

    Anyone here can shed some light? Goods Tax (GT) or Goods & Services Tax or Value Added Tax are all different. Esp the VAT in Britain is about VAT on luxury goods only. So they don’t tax on everyday livelihood necessities! LBH was once quote as saying that Britain’s VAT was then 18% and our GST is just 5% up from a satart of 3%. He lied or he didn’t know? Oh really? You conclude!

  • how to know if guan yin is real or not
  • Hong Gan

    Why compare with britain when our people are so poor compared to brits?

    Why compare with britain when their quality of life is much better than ours and their education system is what we base on and learn from and their income is more than ours yet they protect their citizens by giving more jobs to their citizens as they have smaller ratio of ft vs citizen?

    Sg cannot be compared with britain.

    We copy the london eye.

  • Jackson

    Can we sue SP for misleading the public?

  • eremarf

    You can’t sue them because they are not saying anything false.

    You can show everyone this and tell them ST is unrepentant and up to its usual tricks.

    Maybe someone can come up with their own version of the graphics – make an A/B comparison of ST graphics vs what it could look like.

  • Dig

    What must happen for majority of singaporeans to start taking the lead for change ?
    Till then, just work and earn and pay and complain.
    For the elites in the government, they will say “thank you and go ahead complain. I will drop you a penny.”

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