KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has admitted that a recent technical glitch is among the reasons for the sudden surge in utility bills.
TNB president and chief executive officer Amir Hamzah Azizan, who held a press conference yesterday, was apologetic and promised to investigate and resolve the issue as soon as possible.
Amir said the technical glitch between May 15 and May 20 caused a slight disruption to the system but it had since been resolved.
“Between May 15 and May 20, the system has been operationalised in stages so we can ensure we can (provide) service to the customers as fast as we can.
“By May 20, everything was back in operation. Some customers may have been billed for extra days (causing a hike in the bill),” he told the media.
Amir urged consumers to lodge a report if they noticed any discrepancies in their bills.
He vowed that TNB would investigate and address their complaints.
Amir said in April alone, the utility company received 5,621 complaints but this almost doubled to 9,028 in May.
“This brings the total number of complaints to 14,469 reports and from this, 11,331 have been resolved.
“We would also like to repeat our stand that TNB will keep its promise to investigate the reports.
“If there is evidence that we did overcharge, we will credit the amount back to our customers’ accounts,” Amir said.
He said a special task force, led by TNB’s chief retail officer Megat Jalaluddin Megat Hassan, had been formed to oversee the complaints and resolve the issue.
Megat Jalaluddin said that it usually took about two weeks to credit the amount back to consumers but it could be delayed due to the large number of complaints received.
Amir said other reasons for the sudden surge in electricity bills include old and faulty TNB meters, replacement of new meters and increased usage in the consumer’s household.
He also assured consumers of uninterrupted electricity supply, especially during Hari Raya.
“To those who have lodged reports or ongoing investigations, we assure that the disconnection notice will be postponed for two weeks.
“We would like everyone to have a peaceful Hari Raya celebration,” he said.
Amir said the operation hours of TNB offices would be extended from 8am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, except for public holidays.
As for the TNB Careline, the hours will be extended from 7am to 11pm every day including public holidays, except for Sunday.
This is to help facilitate complaints from consumers and to help resolve their billing issues as soon as possible.
On comments by Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin that TNB would be fined even after it rectifies the billing problem, Amir said at the moment the utility company would focus on fixing the problem.
“My focus is to resolve this issue, we will talk about other issues later. The consumers are our priority,” he said.
During an interview on 8TV’s Global Watch programme on Thursday, Yeo said the Energy Commission had already given TNB a warning letter and an instruction notice to resolve the problem.