SINGAPORE: For the first quarter of 2024, Singaporeans will not only face the increase in the Goods & Services Tax from 8 to 9 per cent but will also need to deal with higher electricity and gas prices, The Straits Times (ST) reported on Friday (Dec 29).

These utilities are affected by the jump in carbon taxes from S$5 to S$25 per tonne of emission. The price of water is also set to go up in April, and a second increase in water prices has been set for April 2025.

ST noted that SP Group will raise electricity tariffs by 5 per cent for the first quarter of next year, going from 31 cents to 32.58 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). CityEngergy has also said that town gas tariffs are increasing by around 4 per cent, from 24.21 cents to 25.23 cents per kWh.

However, the higher tariffs will not affect customers with fixed-price plans until their plans are renewed.

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“The carbon tax is part of a suite of measures to support Singapore’s transition to a low-carbon economy, by steering consumers and producers away from carbon-intensive goods and services, holding businesses accountable for their emissions, and enhancing the business case for the development of low-carbon solutions,” ST quotes a spokesperson from the Energy Market Authority (EMA) as saying.

If the total cost of the carbon tax is to be shouldered by customers of utility retailers, their bills are likely to go up by S$4 per month for a four-room HDB flat, said the National Climate Change Secretariat earlier this month.

The EMA told ST that the vast majority of electricity in Singapore is from imported natural gas, which means that the country is affected by fluctuations in the global market.

“As we continue in our energy transition, natural gas, which is the cleanest form of fossil fuels, is expected to remain as the dominant fuel for Singapore in the medium term,” EMA added.

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The price of water is also set to rise beginning from April of next year by 20 cents, followed by a 30-cent increase in April 2025.

There is, however, provision for rising costs such as the ones mentioned above, as households in Singapore that qualify will get $20 more each quarter in U-Save rebates that would help with higher costs, including water. /TISG

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