KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca), while welcoming the Bantuan Prihatin Elektrik Tambahan scheme, has requested the government to also review the tariff block structure on the grounds that the current one is outdated.
Fomca chief operation officer T. Saravanan said the current block punishes the consumers if the consumption is high, even if it was meant to encourage energy efficiency.
“Today, we already have a mix of renewable energy such as large scale solar farms, which are able to generate green energy. The way forward, we need to relook into the need to restructure the tariff block.
“However, with this current initiative (Bantuan Prihatin Elektrik Tambahan), Fomca believes the burden of most consumers would be put at ease and they would have more time to recover financially,” he said in a statement here, today.
The government today announced electricity bill rebates and discounts totalling RM942 million for domestic users for the months of April, May and June.
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah when announcing it said a total of four million or 52.2 per cent of domestic consumers with a monthly electricity bill of less than RM77 or consumption of less than 300kWh, will enjoy free electricity supply for three months under the assistance scheme.
Meanwhile, Saravanan who is also the Water and Energy Consumers Associations of Malaysia (WECAM) president urges consumers to take on this opportunity and monitor their expenses carefully.
“Consumers need to prioritise their spending habits by purchasing and spending on essentials that are necessary rather than on wants. To see more savings on the electric bills, consumers should adopt energy-efficient lifestyles as consumers would be able to see savings up to 25 per cent by using energy-efficient appliances at home,” he added.
Saravanan said consumers also need to conduct energy audits at home in order to check the appliances at home do not consume lots of energy, adding that they can opt for appliances with better energy consumption rating.
On another note, Fomca also urged the relevant authorities to expedite the installation of smart meters to avoid problems if another movement control order (MCO) was to happen so that bills calculated on estimates would not be issued.
“Smart meter enables consumers to get real-time usage data every half an hour thus consumers would be able to get their electric bill readings exactly at the end of the billing cycle at 12 midnight every day.
“The reading generated does not require the presence of a physical meter reader as the smart meter implements a two-way communication thus enabling it to update meter readings remotely to the consumer and the utility provider,” he said. — Bernama