PETALING JAYA: A consumer group says those who had to put up with any unexpected extra costs and inconvenience following a disruption in electricity supply on Wednesday should be compensated.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) CEO Saravanan Thambirajah said that while a rebate was warranted, it was subject to the Performance Standard of Electricity Supply Services of Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).
The criteria to warrant a rebate, he said, depended on the time taken to restore supply.
“If it took more than three hours (to restore supply), then consumers are entitled (to a rebate). Less than that, I don’t think so,” Saravanan told FMT.
The Guaranteed Service Level 2 (GSL2) of the performance standard, set by the Energy Commission, states that consumers are entitled to rebates for power outages that last three hours or longer.
Domestic consumers are entitled to 1% of their monthly bill, or a minimum of RM10, while commercial consumers get 1% of their monthly bill, or up to RM300. Industrial consumers get 0.5% of their monthly bill, or up to RM1,000.
Saravanan said the authorities should revise TNB’s performance standard, as its rate was insufficient.
“It definitely needs revision, and the Energy Commission must factor in the current cost of living, and also inflation,” he said, adding that the authorities should remove any “red tape” that hindered compensation.
He said that as electricity supply was vital to the economy and wellbeing of the people, the management of all electrical facilities and equipment should be scrutinised meticulously.
“Any updates, upgrades, or maintenance works that need to be made, should be done immediately,” he said.
Saravanan also urged consumers affected by the power supply disruption to submit their complaints to the Energy Commission and TNB.
However, Malaysia Consumers Movement (MCM) deputy president Beninder Singh did not feel there was a need to compensate regular consumers.
“For private consumers, we don’t think that there is any need for compensation unless there is any loss suffered,” he said.
While Beninder conceded that the power supply disruption was an unfortunate incident, he said the speed at which the problem was resolved by TNB was commendable.
“We also see this as an isolated incident, our electricity supply has been stable over the years.”
On Wednesday, several parts of the Klang Valley were hit by a major disruption in electricity supply. The affected areas included Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Bangi, Selayang, Cheras, and Bandar Sunway.
Parts of areas in Pahang, Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, and Penang were also affected.
TNB later said it was due to damaged equipment at the Yong Peng North main inlet substation in Johor.