June 20, 2020 @ 6:57pm
KUALA LUMPUR: The RM942 million assistance under Bantuan Prihatin Elektrik will not only ease financial burden among the people but also gave them time to restore their monetary stability which was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Federation of Malaysian of Consumers Associations (Fomca) chief operating officer Saravanan Thambirajah described the additional assistance as timely and that it was much needed by the people during this challenging period.
"Fomca would like to the Prime Minister, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resource, Energy Commission and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) for listening to the grouses of consumers.
"This assistance is timely and is a much needed for the rakyat during this trying time.
"Fomca, however, also would like to suggest to the government to conduct stakeholders engagement in future to get their opinions to get better picture of the problems," said Saravanan, who is also the Water and Energy Consumers Associations of Malaysia (WECAM) president.
Fomca also called on the government to review the current tariff block structure which the association deems as being outdated.
"The current block punishes the consumers if the consumption is high. We understand that this is to encourage energy efficiency and reduce its impact to the environment.
"Today, we already have a mix of Renewable Energy such as Large Scale Solar Farms, which can generate green energy.
"The way forward is for the government to re-look into need to restructure the tariff block," he said.
Earlier today, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah had said that the assistance under Bantuan Prihatin Elektrik approved by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would benefit 7.66 million consumers in the domestic or residential category in Peninsular Malaysia.
He had said that four million or 52.2 per cent of the total consumers in the domestic category, whose bill is below RM77 or electricity consumption is below 300-kilowatt-hour (kWh), will enjoy electricity free for April, May and June this year.
Consumers in the domestic category, whose electricity consumption is more than 300kWh, will receive a rebate of up to RM231 or RM77 monthly for electricity for April, May and June. Consumers who had already paid their electricity bills for the three months will see the credit in their July bill.
Fomca also urged consumers to use the opportunity from the Bantuan Prihatin Elektrik to monitor their financial expenses.
"Consumers need to prioritise their spending habits by purchasing and spending on essentials that are necessary rather than on wants.
"We also would like to remind consumers to use their savings for emergency purpose only and not exhaust the emergency savings unnecessarily," he said.
"Consumers need to bear in mind that even though the bill was high, it reflects the actual usage of their electricity.
"To see more savings on the electric bills, consumers should adapt energy efficient lifestyle as consumers would be able to see savings up to 25 per cent by using energy efficient appliances at home," he added.