Home electricity use soars 23% during MCO

Residential users are using more electricity during the movement control order period, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Shamsul Anuar Nasarah says.

KUALA LUMPUR: Electricity usage by residential users in Peninsular Malaysia soared 23% during the movement control order (MCO) period compared to a decrease of 33% in overall use, according to the Energy and Natural Resources Minister Shamsul Anuar Nasarah.

The decrease in overall electricity usage in Peninsular Malaysia as well as in Sabah (30%) and Sarawak (20%) followed the government’s move to close all business premises and halt economic activities during the MCO period.

The most notable decline was at commercial centres such as business complexes, shopping malls and hotels which recorded a decrease of between 31% and 47%.

“However, there was a 23% increase (residential). This probably means that (people) are staying at home as directed by the authorities,” he said.

Shamsul said sectors which had experienced a decline in electricity consumption would take time to recover, especially industries and sectors that were told to halt their operations due to the introduction of the MCO.

However, other sectors are expected to show rapid recovery such as health, communication and food.

In order to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, the government had introduced several economic stimulus packages including an electricity discount of between 2% and 50% for some 7.5 million residential users in Peninsular Malaysia.

Discounts were also given to other sectors of the economy.

A total of RM569 million was spent for over nine million users in Peninsular Malaysia, involving allocations from the finance ministry, Kumpulan Wang Industry Elektrik (KWIE) and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).

The government with TNB also said there would be no cut in electricity supply until July 31 or late payment surcharge until Sept 30. They also introduced a flexi-payment plan for home users which will continue until December.

On the adjustment of electricity bills, Shamsul said they would do their best to ensure that the people are not burdened with unreasonable charges.

For example, he said, if a customer received a bill of RM73.32 for 280 kilowatt hours (kWJ) of electricity in February, the amount would be used to estimate the bills for March, April and May.

“If the actual reading in June is 1,400 kWJ for a period of four months from March to June, the actual reading in June is not calculated based on June’s tariff block but divided into four months on average so that the people are not unreasonably charged,” he added.

If distributed over a period of four months, he said, monthly usage would be only 350 kWJ, making the bill payable RM102.80 a month. He said the four-month bill would thus be RM411.20 compared to RM681 otherwise.

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