Sylvia Lim: Tier electricity pricing to favour small consumers

While offsets to low-income households will be useful while it lasts, an additional idea is to have a tiered system of pricing electricity in favour of small consumers. The fundamental idea is for a threshold level of power consumption by households to be determined. Households consuming less than the threshold level will enjoy a low tariff charge. With increasing consumption levels, the tariff escalates. The higher tariff collected in the upper tiers can be used for 2 purposes: to cross-subsidize the first tier tariff, and to encourage all households not to over-consume electricity.

This was a speech in Parliament on 8 March 2010 by NCMP Sylvia Lim during the Committee of Supply debate, on the budget for the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Read other Workers’ Party speeches and statements at


The Economic Strategies Committee has put forth recommendations on Singapore being a Smart Energy Economy.

As electricity is a modern necessity, it is of paramount importance that it is reliable, pollution-free and affordable.

As regards reliability, the ESC recommends that in the medium term, Singapore consider importing coal and electricity to diversify our energy sources, so as to free up land in Singapore. I would like clarification on the pros and cons of relying on imports and thus becoming less self-reliant for our energy needs. Which are the countries we are likely to import electricity from? Will there be additional risks to our energy security?

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