KUALA LUMPUR (June 15): UMNO has urged the relevant authority to give bulk discounts on electricity bills without a complicated calculation formula based on the latest readings, as the government’s initiative to help people in the short term.
UMNO Information Chief Shahril Hamdan said Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) was urged to provide continuous clarification on the calculation of consumers’ electricity bills so that they are not confused.
“Any complaints made by consumers should be examined as best as possible to prevent them from feeling cheated and ignored.
“At the same time, we welcome the easy payment plan introduced by TNB to ensure that people are able to pay their electricity bills in line with the current situation today,” he said in a statement today.
Shahril said the the original idea of giving discounts according to the monthly usage amount was correct in its concept but the reality of implementation may not be appropriate in this short-term scenario.
“This is because during the Movement Control Order (MCO) that came into effect following the outbreak of Covid-19, people were confined to their homes and this had a direct impact on electricity consumption - including on those from the B40 and M40 households.
“The people complying with the government’s directive to stay at home to break the Covid-19 transmission chain is the reason why electricity consumption in households (domestic consumers) is higher than normal.
“When the actual reading was done by TNB, the electricity bill was higher than the normal usage before the MCO, which is causing consumers more anxiety in this challenging and uncertain economic environment,” he said.
We greatly appreciate the proactive actions taken by Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah and TNB chairman Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid in addressing the people’s complaints.
Asked if TNB would be held liable for making a mistake in the calculation, Shamsul Anuar said: “TNB cannot calculate bills arbitrarily. Whatever it does, it must obtain approval from the Energy Commission as a supervisory body and regulator for the energy industry.
“Hence, we are confident that the Energy Commission can ensure that this matter is resolved and we will respond to all the issues raised. I understand the public want instant results, but this is an important matter and has to be fully inspected.”
In a separate development, Shamsul Anuar said nine eco-tourism locations under the supervision of PERHILITAN have been reopened to tourists in compliance with standard operating procedures (SOP) starting today, after being closed to the public since the MCO came into force on March 18.
In addition to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre, among the other locations are the Taman Negara Kuala Tahan and Sungai Relau in Pahang, Taman Negara Kuala Koh, Kelantan; Taman Negara Tanjong Mentong, Terengganu and Paya Indah Wetlands ini Dengkil, Selangor.