Getting Electricity in


Below is a detailed summary of the procedures, time and cost required for a business to obtain an electricity connection for a newly constructed building in Singapore.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Singapore to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Submit application to SP Services Ltd. and await estimate

    Agency: SP Services Ltd

    The customer has to engage and appoint an Electrical Worker licensed (LEW) with the Energy Market Authority (EMA) to design the internal electrical installation, a LEW for the electrical installation works, and a LEW to operate on the installation. The client however, can appoint the same LEW for all three duties.

    The licensed electrical worker acts as the client's agent for the connection to the grid system.

    There are three classes of LEW, namely licensed electrician (load < 45kVA), licensed electrical technician (load design < 150kVA) and licensed electrical engineer (no limit on load). Based on the case study's electrical load of 140kVA, the customer needs to appoint either a licensed electrical technician or licensed electrical engineer.

    SP Services Ltd serves as a one-stop customer centre for electricity connections. SP Services Ltd receives electricity supply applications, receives payment of connection fee, opens electricity account and makes turn-on appointment with the customer.

    The appointed LEW submits an application to SP Services Ltd to connect to the grid system, along with 2 copies of the site plan. SP Services Ltd advises the appointed LEW and the client on the approval of the application and provides them with a quotation within 7 calendar days for premises receiving direct service connection from streets mains.

    Direct service connection from SP PowerGrid's LV network to the client's installation is available for a small load requirement not exceeding 280kVA (400A) in commercial or industrial areas.

    9 calendar days SGD 0

    Open electricity account, pay connection fee and receive external works

    Agency: SP Services Ltd (works by SP Power Grid Ltd)

    The customer’s appointed LEW only liaises with one single external party which is SP Services Ltd for opening of account and making payment of connection fee which are done on the same day and same place. External work from SP PowerGrid Ltd commences automatically upon payment for connection fee. No further action is required from the customer.

    The documents required for opening of account are:
    - Completed and signed application form;
    - Copy of business/company registration certificate;
    - Copy of NRIC/FIN (National Registration Identity Card / Foreign Identification Number) for the authorised signatory of company representative or a letter of authorisation issued by the company indicating the company representative’s name and NRIC/FIN, proof of ownership or tenancy agreement;
    - Letter from the Authority (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore) confirming the official address of the premises, and
    - Initial security deposit in cash (which is refundable when the customer terminates the account) or by the form of banker Guarantee (BG) at the point of application;

    For the warehouse, direct connection is applicable as the applied load is 140 kVA. Services for the provision of electricity supply from the existing overground box to industrial premises in built up area with load demand between 76 kVA and 140 kVA will be managed as follows by SP Services Ltd and SP PowerGrid Ltd:

    a. a. Upon receipt of connection fee payment by SP Services Ltd, SP PowerGrid Ltd will commence work and inform the appointed LEW and the client about the date for fixing meter and turn-on of electricity supply. The customer’s appointed LEW has to submit the document required for turn-on of supply before the turn-on date.

    b. The service provided is underground. Thus an excavation permit is needed before SP PowerGrid Ltd can start laying cables. For pragmatic reasons, SP PowerGrid will only apply for the permit after the client has made the connection fee payment and had their intake point ready for connection.

    c. SP PowerGrid Ltd would work closely with the agencies to have road openings approved within 7 calendar days and thereafter commence the physical cable installation work;

    d. SP PowerGrid Ltd will carry out meter fixing once the cable installation work is started;

    e. The service cable will be energised on the next day after the cable installation work is completed.

    21 calendar days SGD 17,794.08
    * 3

    Obtain electrical installation license

    Agency: Energy Market Authority (EMA)

    The appointed licensed electrical worker (LEW) submits and obtains an electrical installation license from the Energy Market Authority (EMA) on behalf of the customer.

    For safety reasons, an electrical installation license issued by EMA is required for the use or operation of an electrical installation with an approved load exceeding 45kVA in a non-domestic premises.

    The customer has to engage and appoint a LEW who will inspect and certify fitness of the electrical installation. Thereafter the LEW will submit an application for the electrical installation license online through the EMA's ELISE portal at www.ema.gov.sg. The license fee of SGD100/= (for a 12-month license) is to be paid online together with the application. The EMA will check the completeness of the application before issuing the electrical installation license.

    Application for license may be submitted well in advance of the electricity supply connection date. The LEW may also arrange for the license commencement date to coincide with the electricity supply connection date.

    Upon approval of the license application, connection of electricity supply can be made anytime when the customer's switchgear and service cable are ready.

    2 calendar days SGD 100
    * 4

    Submit installation license and MOC to SP PowerGrid Ltd to have electricity turned on

    Agency: SP Services Ltd

    The customer’s appointed LEW needs to submit to SP Services Ltd the following documents to confirm the turn-on appointment:

    - Certificate of Compliance (COC) issued by the appointed LEW certifying that the (internal) electrical work is conforming to the requirements of the Electricity Regulations and the relevant Singapore Standard Code of Practice; and

    - A copy of valid electrical installation licence obtained from the Energy Market Authority (EMA).

    1 calendar day SGD 0

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Reliability of supply and transparency of tariff index (0-8)
    Total duration and frequency of outages per customer a year (0-3)
    System average interruption duration index (SAIDI) 0.01
    System average interruption frequency index (SAIFI) 0.01
    Mechanisms for monitoring outages (0-1)
    Does the distribution utility use automated tools to monitor outages? Yes
    Mechanisms for restoring service (0-1)
    Does the distribution utility use automated tools to restore service? Yes
    Regulatory monitoring (0-1)
    Does a regulator—that is, an entity separate from the utility—monitor the utility’s performance on reliability of supply? Yes
    Financial deterrents aimed at limiting outages (0-1)
    Does the utility either pay compensation to customers or face fines by the regulator (or both) if outages exceed a certain cap? Yes
    Communication of tariffs and tariff changes (0-1)
    Are effective tariffs available online? Yes
    Link to the website, if available online https://www.emcsg.com/
    Are customers notified of a change in tariff ahead of the billing cycle? No
    Price of electricity (US cents per kWh) 8.1


    If the duration and frequency of outages is 100 or less, the economy is eligible to score on the Reliability of supply and transparency of tariff index.

    If the duration and frequency of outages is not available, or is over 100, the economy is not eligible to score on the index.