Oral Reply by Mr Desmond Tan, Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on the PAYU Scheme
Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) how many Singaporean and permanent resident (PR) households currently have electricity and water bills in arrears respectively; (b) how many of these cases have measures taken to regulate their use of water; and (c) whether the existing practice to offer Pay-as-You-Use (PAYU) scheme can be expanded to cover the use of both electricity and water.
1 There are approximately 13,000 households who have electricity accounts in arrears, and 150,000 households who have water bills in arrears. Of these 150,000 households, about 1,200 have arrears of at least $250. For these households, PUB has installed flow restrictors to reduce the flow rate of water to their premises. This measure does not completely shut off the supply of water to these households, as access to water is a necessity for drinking and basic hygiene. Normal flow of water will be restored once the arrears are paid off.
2 The Pay-as-you-use, or PAYU, scheme is currently offered to electricity customers who have accumulated at least $400 of overdue payment. Under the PAYU scheme, households would have to pre-pay for credits to use electricity, and 20% of the credit payment would go towards settling outstanding arrears.
3 Since Aug 2021, PUB has commenced a trial to implement a PAYU scheme for water. 50 households are currently participating in the trial. Similar to the electricity PAYU scheme, households under the water PAYU scheme will be able to access water at the normal flow rate through pre-paying for credits, 20% of which goes towards settling their arrears. PUB will continue to gather data from the trial, before making a decision on whether to extend the scheme to more households.