U-Save rebates are here again. Here’s all you need to know about the latest round of payment.
It’s October, which means it’s time for another GST Voucher – U-Save to help with your household utility bills. This rebate is especially timely, considering the past few months of increased work-from-home days, which has invariably bumped up our usage.
So, if you’re wondering how much your family will receive, we’ve got you covered.
What are GST Vouchers – U-Save Rebates?
U-Save rebates are a component of the direct assistance programme started by the Singapore Government in 2012 to help cushion the impact of planned GST increases — the two other components are GST Vouchers – Cash, and GST Vouchers – Medisave.
Designed to help households with their utility bills, U-Save rebates are credited directly to each household’s utilities account.
For 2020, additional one-off U-Save rebates have been announced, which will bring further relief to households struggling to cope with utility bills. In total, Singaporeans can receive 2 times more (2.5 times for large households) U-Save rebates this year as compared to during regular years.
When are GST Voucher – U-Save rebates given out?
Regular U-Save rebates are paid out over 4 payments, one in each quarter — April, July, October and January 2021.
Additionally, large households (defined as households with 5 or more members, related by blood, marriage or legal adoption) will receive extra rebates to cope with ostensibly larger utility bills. These are given out twice a year, in October and January.
In light of the particularly onerous year we’re enduring, extra U-Save rebates have been given out over two payments – in April and July.
The next U-Save rebate payment that will be credited in October will consist of the regular U-Save rebate, as well as the top-up for large households.
Who is eligible to receive GST Voucher – U-Save rebates?
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) says that as many as 940,000 households will benefit from this round of U-Save rebates — the third payment for the year.
Only HDB households are eligible for U-Save rebates, and will only receive the benefits subject to these following conditions:
- If you own and live in your HDB flat, there must be at least one Singapore citizen owner or occupier in the flat; or
- If you have partially rented out the HDB flat that you own and live in, there must be at least one Singapore citizen owner or occupier in the flat; or
- If you rent an entire flat, there must be at least one Singapore citizen tenant.
Also, immediate family members living in the same flat must not own or have any interest in more than one property (to avoid double-dipping).
What other U-Save rebates can Singaporeans look forward to?
The upcoming October payment will be the third of four regular U-Save rebates, as well as the second of two U-Save rebates (for large households).
The two extra U-Save rebates, which are planned as one-off events, have already been paid out in April and July.
As such, this means that after the October payment, Singaporean households can look forward to one more regular U-Save rebate payment, scheduled for January 2021.
How much U-Save rebates will each household receive?
|Type of HDB flat||October U-Save rebate |
|October U-Save rebate |
|Total U-Save rebate for 2020 |
(inclusive of extra U-Save rebates)
|1-room and 2-room||$100||$100||$800 or $1,000|
|3-room||$90||$90||$720 or $900|
|4-room||$80||$80||$640 or $800|
|5-room||$70||$70||$560 or $700|
|Executive/Multi-generational||$60||$60||$480 or $600|
1- and 2-room flats to receive the largest amount of U-Save rebates
Looking at the numbers, you may be wondering why do larger HDB flats receive less rebates. Shouldn’t these flat types receive more rebates, considering that they are likely to contain more electrical points and consume more power or water?
Well, 1- and 2-room HDB households receive the largest rebates, as they are most likely to be occupied by families with lower income.
According to the MOF, the total U-Save rebates of up to $1,000 for 2020 is expected to cover between 6 to 8 months of utility bills for 1- and 2-room households. Meanwhile, 3- and 4-room flat households can look forward to at least 2 to 4 months of utility rebates.
4 tips to help you reduce your utility bills
Unplug unused electronics
You don’t have to believe in vampires to be a victim.
Electrical devices are increasingly designed to go into sleep mode rather than a complete shut-down. This creates the rather Halloween-ish sounding problem of ‘energy vampirism’, where devices plugged into outlets continue draining electricity from the grid.
This adds to your utility bills, making you pay extra for energy that is essentially wasted – all for the dubious pleasure of having your electronics awaken at a touch.
To prevent this problem, develop the ruthless habit of unplugging your devices whenever you are done for the day. Often overlooked common household culprits are smart TVs, laptops, game consoles and power banks.
Invest in efficient machines
Aircons, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, large-screen TVs and other necessities are not made equal — especially when it comes to energy efficiency.
If you want to manage your utility bills without forcing your family into a Luddite lifestyle, switching to energy and water efficient machines will make a noticeable difference.
Sure, you’ll likely be paying more upfront, but investing in machines that use less water and energy on a daily basis will set you up for savings in the long run.
Switch your energy provider
The Open Energy Market (OEM) has been a thing for like, a while now. And judging by the lack of complaints about disruptions or disasters, the OEM is the way to go.
Now, with every third-party supplier offering lower prices than the regular tariff, it doesn’t make sense to continue paying full price. There’s literally no difference whether you buy your electricity from SP or another provider.
If you haven’t already, please consider switching and start paying less in minutes. There’re even renewables-only plans on offer, so you can save money and fight climate change in one stroke!
Pay with a cashback card
Another way to reduce your utility bill is to pay with a cashback credit card. One popular option is the OCBC 365 Credit Card, which gives you 3% cashback on your electricity bills.
Read these next:
Best Credit Cards for Paying Utility Bills in Singapore
How Will (The Extended) COVID-19 Support Grant Help You Financially
Phase 3 In Singapore: What Can You Expect?
Green Lanes, Travel Bubbles, Air Bridges From Singapore: Where Can I Go Now?
The Real Cost Of Working From Home (WFH) May Surprise You
By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.