Sarawak lowers power tariff for commercial and industrial consumers

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(April 29): The Sarawak government has made good on its promise to reduce electricity tariffs for commercial and industrial users following reductions for domestic consumers last year.

Announcing the rates today, Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said they would be effective June 1 and benefit 85,500 commercial consumers and some 1,000 industrial users.

Some 46,000 shophouses, retail shops and commercial blocks would enjoy a reduction of about 15% to 50%, while another 30,500 commercial users would enjoy a reduction of between 8% and 11%.

The balance of 9,000 consumers, including shopping malls, building and construction sites, ports and oil and gas installations – would enjoy an average reduction of 4%.

Around 980 industrial consumers would enjoy a tariff reduction of between 4% and 40%, with the balance of 125 consumers enjoying an average reduction of 2%.

Adenan announced the new rates at the state assembly today and said the reduction was meant to assist the business community, especially “the smaller players and entrepreneurs” in the face of rising operational costs.

“As a government that listens, we understand the challenges faced by the business community.

“As such, we want to ensure that Sarawak maintains its business-friendly environment for stronger and consistent economic growth.

“We want to make sure that Sarawakians can sustain and grow their businesses so they can 'cari makan' in their homeland,” he said.

The reduction was a promise the chief minister made after reducing the tariff for domestic consumers in the assembly's last sitting last November.

The reduction, that came into effect on January 1, meant about 240,000 customers or 50% of Sarawak Energy Board's (SEB's) domestic consumers, enjoyed reduction of between 20% to about 40%.

Adenan said the tariff reductions were possible because of the successful operations of the Bakun hydroelectric dam, the timely commissioning of the Murum dam and successful securing of power from customers in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy (Score) – an industrial development area in the state.

He also said the reduction was made possible as the total amount of water royalty expected to be collected from the Batang Ai, Bakun and Murum hydroelectric dams this year is projected at RM100 million.

“With further success expected of the Score agenda and hydropower developments, it is timely that commercial and industrial consumers also benefit from the government initiatives."

He said for over 20 years, the people of Sarawak have been enjoying one of the lowest tariff in the region and “will continue to do so thanks to hydropower”. – The Malaysian Insider