Monday, March 04, 2019

The idiot who didn't switch

With the opening up of the electricity market, I recently signed up with another retailer. I'm not here to talk about which is more worth while, but you can comment below to ask me which one I've chosen. The fact is that I've made a choice to move out of the standard Singapore Power SP retailer, because changing to another retailer will cut my monthly bills by at least 20 to 25%. Since electricity is a commodity, I really don't care which company supplies me with it, as long as it is reliable and cheaper than my current provider.

But I've asked around. Quite a lot of people are reluctant to change, mostly the older folks. I've asked my parents to switch to another retailer too, but my mum said that SP is still the more reliable one. When I told her that she can save 25% off her monthly electrical bills, she said paying more is okay because it's higher quality. Wah...okay, then I realised that the reason not to switch is based on something other than rational thought. A.k.a status quo bias.

I guess a big reason why people are reluctant to switch is because there is a lot of information to digest. And it's true. You have to read up, do comparison, which is difficult for people. There are better ways to spend your free time than to pore over boring fact sheets of at least a dozen different electricity providers and their various plans. Too much work.

While I'm pointing fingers at these people for not switching to something cheaper, am I also guilty of doing it on other aspects of my life? Are there some aspects of my life that I am procrastinating, because it is perceived to be too much work even though I know I'll be ultimately better off? I'm sure there are, even if I had sub-consciously buried it in the deep recesses of my mind.

If you're financially savvy, did you neglect your health? If you're health conscious, did you forget about growing your wealth? If you're good at investing in stocks and shares, are you dismissing properties? If you're good at investing in properties, are you missing out the potential in the stock market? If you're strong in savings, are you equally strong in growing your income? If you're good at earning money, did you play defensive well by cutting your expenses?

Too much work to do? You're comfortable where you are right now? Status quo bias?

Realization: Just because I've switched to a cheaper electricity retailer, I'm no better than the people who choose to stay with the incumbent. All of us have some better part of our lives that we can improve and better ourselves, if only we can look past the tough work to get there.


LetsGetRichTgt said...

A myth to debunk for your mom: the power remains supplied by SP. Switching retailers doesn’t affect the quality as all PowerGrid are still owned by SP. Retailers, basically just handles the billing portion. That’s all

la papillion said...

Hi Letsgetrichtgt,

Haha, you think I didn't tell her that? She is still adamant. In the end I didn't try to convince her, I just told her I switched. Let them decide if they want to follow :)

Betta man said...

Just like the recent CPF fiasco. Many will just stick to status quo - wait for automatic payout at 70

Sillyinvestor said...

Hi B,

How about u say, I will do all the paper work for u, and u just sit back and wait for savings?

Throw in another gimmicks out of your own pockets. They give 100 dollars NTUC vouchers or whatever. U go get the 24 months laptop iPad and u sell. Return the money in vouchers.

Btw. For 24 months, nothing is gauranteed. Yes it is 25 percent cheaper, because it's fixed. SP review price every quarter. Just looking back at past 2 years of MIL bill show that price to change, although the gap is never 10 percent or more.

But if u go for floating rate, the discount is lesser.

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

1) LP,

You and sillyinvestor special bromance or what? He calls you so affectionately... Beeeeee?


2) Sillyinvestor,

You've missed the essence of this post. You and your indian chief instincts you...

Look within. Are there any areas in your life where EVERYONE and ANYONE will indian chief you that it makes logical sense to change, but you just wouldn't budge?

la papillion said...

Hi bettaman,

We're all subjected to status quo, just on different things ;)

la papillion said...

Hi SI,

Actually when I finished writing, my dad was texting me about the switch. I think he is going for it, esp when I removed the 'homework' part and told him straight that the plan I was getting is the best. I gave another kind of assurance for him.

Okay lah, I think fixed rate offers the best balance between work and savings. I admit honestly that I hate doing all the comparison and all the nitty gritty leg work. I would rather spend my time doing other things. So my plan is to do one time and try to maximise the effort spent by using a longer plan LOL

As for the savings part, agar agar can oredi lah...I'm not the type who will squeeze until like that lol

la papillion said...


SI must have mixed me up with someone else ;) Forgive and forget...sometimes I do that too haha

Regarding the essence of this post, I gave up. In my facebook post, almost everyone is talking about the savings and all that. They thought I must really be calling those who don't switch idiots lol! I guess we are all headlines driven haha!

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


I know. I've made the mistake of calling others by the wrong nick countless of times... That's why must poke when got chance!

Lucky we not women. Do that to the women in our lives game over...

Internet generation. Its all about memes. No thinking required ;)

hyom said...

Hi la papillion,

Thank you for sharing. Would you be kind enough to go further and share which is the electricity retailer that you choose?

It will help many of your readers, including me, to save time when we become eligible to make the switch. I will do my own homework but will bear your choice in mind. Your judgement carries weight :)

Thank you.

Sillyinvestor said...

Hahahahaha sorry LP...

la papillion said...

Hi hyom,

It's Geneco, 24 months fixed rate. Just be careful of the iswitch 24 months plans, because of the service charge you have to pay per month. iswitch might seem cheaper cos of the lower kWh rate but after including service charge, it's definitely not the cheaper option.

If you want referral code (to have rebate of $20), just email me. I can send you my phone number. Then i'll also get $20 rebate too, haha

la papillion said...

Hi SI,

Haha, no problems, we're cool :)

hyom said...

Hi la papillion,

Thank you for the offer for the referral code. It's a win-win situation. I'll bear that in mind when I'm eligible for the switch.

Maybe you should put the referral code in your blog post and earn $20 for every reader who is convinced to switch. Haha.

la papillion said...

Hi hyom,

Haha, i'll rather not..cos the referral code is my handphone number!

Wah, I thought i'm the latest batch, didn't know zone 4 will be eligible in may haha! By then, the scene would have changed again, so I don't think my recommendation will be the same. But by and large, Geneco is one of the top few choices chosen by people :)

K said...

Yes, my Dad initially had the same reaction when I told him to switch. He said that SP must surely lower their price then since they have to compete against these new retailers.......

They eventually switched after a while.

la papillion said...

Hi K,

That's very good! what jedi mind trick did you do? Or did they come to the conclusion themselves after you seeded them with that idea? Maybe all we need is some time for the seeds to germinate haha

Candy said...

Hi K, I like your last sentence
All of us have some better part of our lives that we can improve and better ourselves, if only we can look past the tough work to get there.

Well said!

Rolf Suey said...

Hi LP,

How’s life? Hope all is good. Decided to come back for a peek and see your post of changing utilities op.

It is interesting for me as my bill is sky high nowadays almost hitting $400 at times!

Aside from paper work, any other difference do you know? Does HDB, Condo or Landed house have any diff?

I am interested in the referral?

la papillion said...

Hi Candy,

Thanks! Very glad you picked up the sentence. A lot of people, esp those in my fb, kept commenting about the bills, which is not the gist of the post.

(sorry for the late reply...somehow i've missed this comment haha)

la papillion said...

Hi Rolf,

Haha, welcome back!

I'm not sure what's the diff between the diff types of properties. Only sure about HDB haha

If you are interested in the referral, just drop me an email. You only need my mobile number. Or you can ask our mutual friend (UN) for it, haha

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