TNB: Australia, European utility companies also use prorated method

Customers pay their utility bills at the Shah Alam Kedai Tenaga branch June 2, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Customers pay their utility bills at the Shah Alam Kedai Tenaga branch June 2, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — The prorated method used by Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) in calculating electricity bills is also adopted by utility companies in other countries such as Australia and those in Europe, said the company’s chief retail officer Megat Jalaluddin Megat Hassan. 

"The method is also checked and approved by the Energy Commission,” he said in an interview on TV3’s Buletin Utama programme.

According to him, the method is to ensure that consumers do not get overcharged.

He said it would allow the tariff block rates to be based on monthly usage rather than according to the total accumulated consumption over the actual billing period spanning three to four months.

“Let’s say the electricity usage amounted to 1,400 kilowatt-hours (kWh). We would then divide 1,400 kWh by four months — March, April, May and June. That will give us the monthly average, which is 350 kWh,” he explained.

TNB estimated that electricity consumption in the residential sector saw an increase of 20 to 50 per cent during the movement control order (MCO) period due to higher usage by occupants who were confined to their home as well as more companies permitting their workers to work from home.

Therefore, Megat Jalaluddin said, consumers must be prepared to accept that the bills based on actual readings would be higher than the estimated bills, as the estimated bills had been based on the usage in February, which could be lower compared to during the MCO period that began on March 18.

TNB, he said, would continue to be caring towards the consumers by offering an easy payment plan and tiered discount rates of up to 50 per cent based on electricity usage.

This month, 3.5 million customers in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan will start receiving their bills based on actual meter readings, while actual bills for 4 million other customers have been distributed since May 15.

Megat Jalaluddin said that should the electricity consumption be lower during the MCO period, which could be due to the occupants being confined to their kampung where they had been when the government’s order took effect, the additional charges would be credited back to these consumers. — Bernama

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