SHAH ALAM: The spike in electricity bills during the movement control order (MCO) is due to more Malaysians staying at home, says Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).
Its chairman Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said many Malaysians were staying at and working from home during the MCO period, which began on March 18.
"Our children too did not attend schools, and this directly has caused the increase in the usage of electricity.
"There were also some who returned to their kampung (hometown) during the school holidays and were stranded there.
"This also caused the usage of electricity at homes in the city to decrease, and the usage in their hometowns to increase," he told a press conference after visiting Kedai Tenaga in Shah Alam on Tuesday (June 2).
Mahdzir added that during the MCO, the usage of electricity in residential sectors saw an increase of between 20 and 50 percent.
Some consumers were shocked when their electricity bills were much higher compared with their normal monthly bills, he said.
He said there were some consumers who used social media as a channel to state their confusion on the high electricity bills and questioned the adjustment methods used by TNB.
He explained that the utility company had used the prorated method to ensure consumers do not get overcharged.
The prorated method was also reviewed and approved by the Energy Commission, Mahdzir said.
"It is also based on the usage of the actual electricity every month because the actual bill will be given and will be divided equally for the MCO period.
"The monthly usage will be multiplied with the tariff block rate for every month," he added.
Mahdzir, however, said consumers can convert their bills during the MCO period into instalment payments.
He said customers had until December to pay their outstanding bills.
However, they need to ensure their current bills are paid.
TNB had stopped meter reading at customers' premises when the MCO came into force.
Customers did not get actual bills. However, the bills were based on estimates from previous bills.
The meter reading services resumed on May 15 following the easing of the MCO restrictions.
Mahdzir said that to date, data has shown that the main reason why customers visit the Tenaga shops was not only to enquire about the high electricity bills, but also to ask about the adjusted bills.
He said about 42% of them had come to obtain a copy of their electricity bill, while 58% came to inquire on the TNB services such as bill payments, closing of accounts and on the adjustment of bills, among others.
Mahdzir said customers who needed explanation about their bills can go to the nearest Tenaga outlet, or call the TNB CareLine at 1-300-88-5454.
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