No power cuts over outstanding bills until March 31, says minister

PUTRAJAYA: Domestic electricity users with outstanding bills of up to six months will not have their power supply cut until March 31, 2021, because of unpaid charges, says Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (pic).

The Energy and Natural Resources Minister said that Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd have agreed to this, which will benefit 6.94 million domestic users in the peninsula and 500,000 domestic users in Sabah.

“This is a continuous effort to assist the people during challenging times where the economy has taken a hit due to the effects of Covid-19 pandemic,” he announced on Monday (Dec 21).

This category of users will be given the facility to pay their dues in instalments for six months from Jan 1 to June 30 next year.

“We have asked TNB and SESB to activate their counter services so that the public can approach them to discuss their bills.

“Other electricity users can also discuss with the two power companies to see how best to settle their outstanding payments to avoid a power supply cut,” said Shamsul.

There are about 9 million electricity users nationwide with domestic users numbering 7.66 million.

On June 20, the government and TNB announced the “Bantuan Prihatin Elektrik” as extra aid in the form of free electricity of up to RM231 during the movement control order period from April to June.

This was later extended to a further three months to Dec 31 for domestic users across the country.

Dr Shamsul also said that the electricity tariff for 2021 will be announced in the next few days.

“We will announce this week... just wait,” he said when asked on the matter.

Shamsul was tightlipped when asked to give some indication what consumers can expect from the announcement.

In September, Tenaga Nasional Berhad projected a slightly lower electricity tariff next year following the reduction in the cost of production of coal and gas currently.

Its president/chief executive officer Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan was quoted as saying that the tariff rate would depend on the Energy Commission, which would make a detailed evaluation before proposing it to the Cabinet.

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