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Housing & Accommodation

Utilities in Singapore

Congratulations! You have found a new home in Singapore. What now? When moving into your accommodation, you don’t just need to unpack your suitcases. You also need to sign up for utilities in Singapore. We’ll tell you how to get access to water, electricity, gas, a phone line, etc.

If you are lucky, you live in a furnished room or a serviced apartment, where everything comes pre-installed. The building management of a fancy condominium or the janitor may also offer to help you get your utilities in Singapore connected.

Otherwise, you have to take care of it on your own. But don’t worry. It’s really easy to gain access to all utilities in Singapore.

Water Supply

Let’s start with the most basic of utilities: water. The water supply and sanitation in the city are regulated by the Public Utility Board (PUB), Singapore’s National Water Agency.

To open a water utility account, you have to check if there is a water service pipe as well as a PUB supply connection available. This is nearly always the case. If your home is among the rare exceptions, though, an official water service worker must install them first. However, most expats can simply apply for water supply to their house or apartment.

Singapore Power (SP), the provider for all other main utilities in Singapore, acts as the PUB agent for customer services. Therefore please contact one of the SP service centers. They are located on Somerset Road in Central Singapore, in the suburban Woodlands Civic Centre, and in the HDB Hub of Toa Payoh.

Alternatively, you can submit a joint online application for three different utilities in Singapore together (water, electricity, gas).

Gas and Electricity

As mentioned above, Singapore Power (SP) is responsible for delivering gas and electricity to the homes of the tiny island nation. For your utility account, you can apply in a variety of ways:

After applying for a new account, you usually have to wait one to three business days for an appointment. An SP technician will come to your home to activate your utilities in Singapore.

However, for a gas connection, you need to set up an extra appointment with City Gas. Please follow this link to arrange this online.

To apply for your Singapore utilities account, you normally require the following documents:

Moreover, you have to pay a security deposit. The deposit for SP utilities in Singapore depends on the size and type of your accommodation. It’s cheapest in small HDB apartments and most expensive in bungalows or penthouses, ranging from 40 SGD to 400 SGD. The amount is even higher if you are not a GIRO customer. GIRO is a direct debit method of payment, where bills are automatically paid from your bank account.

One last note as far as basic utilities in Singapore are concerned: If you are planning to bring some of your electrical appliances from back home, you should check if you need an adapter and/or transformer. The voltage in Singapore is 220-240 V, and the common model for electrical plugs and sockets is the British standard (BS-1363).

Keeping in Touch

When you have access to water, electricity, and gas, you will still be interested in other kinds of utilities in Singapore – i.e. in telecommunications. To get a fixed line for your phone at home, you basically have the choice between two big providers, SingTel and StarHub.

The SingTel Home Line plan is the most basic phone service for landlines in Singapore. It doesn’t require digital broadband or a cable point. However, it doesn’t include any flat rates. You have to pay for all calls in units of 30 or 60 seconds. Nowadays, SingTel also offers the Home Digital Line. It is based on a digital broadband connection, which can be bundled with Internet services and TV.

To sign up for a SingTel phone plan, visit one of their retail shops or call 1688.

Star Hub is the main alternative to Sing Tel. For their Digital Voice package, you need a cable point in your home. However, this should be available in most kinds of housing in Singapore. By calling their service hotline (1630), you can find out if this applies to your apartment as well.

Just like SingTel’s digital plan, the Star Hub offer has the definite advantage of fixed monthly fees rather than pay-per-call costs. Contact their customer hotline (1630) or go to a local shop for more information.

Communication On-The-GO

There are several providers for Internet connections and mobile phone services in Singapore, too. In addition to Sing Tel and Star Hub, Mobile One (M1) is the third big company on the market.

To find a plan tailored to your personal needs, please contact the individual providers directly. We don’t want to make any recommendations or include detailed descriptions here as the market for online and mobile services can change really fast. 

When you sign up for any sort of telecommunications or utilities in Singapore, though, always pay attention to the duration period of your contract. When do you have to give notice? If you need to get out of the contract early, how much will this cost you?

To be connected in Singapore from the get-go, you can simply acquire a pre-paid SIM card. They are sold in convenience stores and at the retail shops of local mobile providers. The cards work for most mobile phones using GSM technical standards.

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

InterNations Expat Magazine