‘Very expensive’ electricity in the world: $1.6b profits?

Photo: www.99.coPhoto: www.99.co

Are our electricity prices one of the most expensive in the world, and the provision of electricity – one of the most profitable?

I refer to the article “Electricity tariffs to increase for Oct 1 to Dec 31 period” (Straits Times, Sep 29).

It states that “For the period from Oct 1 to Dec 31, electricity tariffs will increase by an average of 2.1 per cent, or 0.48 cent per kilowatt hour compared with the previous quarter.

Energy utilities provider SP Group said on Saturday (Sept 29) that the increase was mainly due to the higher cost of natural gas for electricity generation, as compared with the previous quarter.

For households, the electricity tariff will increase from 23.65 cents to 24.13 cents per kwh during the time period.”

According to “Electricity prices around the world” – the USD per kwh for various countries are  as follows:

Singapore 0.165

Canada 0.107

China 0.086

Hong Kong 0.138

Indonesia 0.104

Malaysia 0.061

Norway 0.16

South Korea 0.117

Taiwan 0.094

Thailand 0.117

United Kingdom 0.224

United States 0.129

So, after taking into account the relative incomes of the lower-income, and Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) in different countries – does Singapore have one of the most expensive electricity prices in the world?

The opening up of electricity to competition has highlighted the humongous profits in the past?

In this connection, according to the article “Sizzling competition, ‘encouraging’ sign-ups as electricity market opens up in Jurong” (Channel NewsAsia, Apr 26) – “With his new 12-month plan charging 16.95 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), almost 5 cents lower than SP Group’s current electricity tariffs“.

Does this mean that the price difference is 23.5 per cent (16.95 divided by 22.15 cents)?

So, can you imagine the humongous profits that may have been made in the past?

With the estimated annual profits of about $1.6 billion from providing electricity in Singapore – are we looking at tens of billions of profits in the past decades?

In this connection, what is arguably noteworthy may be that the loads of commentary in the media I understand, have never mentioned the obvious – the humongous profits in the past?

Is it any wonder that our Press Freedom Ranking for 2018 is at 151st?

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.