Malaysians are living in some extraordinary times today. The COVID-19 pandemic has confined people indoors and many have been working from home for more than a year since March 2020 with 2 rounds of MCO (Movement Control Order) and with most parts of the country still remaining in various states like controlled, recovering or other forms of MCO.
Initiatives for the people
With working from home becoming a norm and the fact that the Malaysian government has been encouraging more people to do that (due to the pandemic), this simply means you are spending more time indoors and that means longer hours of air-conditioning, lighting, internet access and such. And that means you are going to pay more for electricity.
Changing of lifestyle and practices
From the start, a lot of Malaysians were wary about raking in high electricity bills because of working from home. However, TNB (Tenaga Malaysia Berhad) has launched several initiatives to help in this situation. If you haven’t already known, the following are some of them.
- PERMAI and PEMERKASA – This is the package known as the Perlindungan Ekonomi dan Rakyat Malaysia and Program Strategik Memperkasa Rakyat dan Ekonomi respectively. They were launched to help reduce electricity bills for Malaysians. The general sentiment here is that you get a 2 sen per kilowatt-hour of rebate. Translated to ringgit and sens, I tis about 9% discount. These rebates are applicable between 1 January and 30 June 2021.
- If you are in any of the 6 business sectors namely hotels, theme parks, convention centres, travel industries, local airline offices and shopping malls, you get an additional 10% discount until June 2021.
- Bantuan Prihatin Elektrik or BPE was a package given to residential customers of up to RM77 per month in 2020.
- Instalment payments – TNB launched a bill-payment assistance programme where customers can use the Easy Payment Plan that can be stretched into instalments.
- No supply cut (yet) – Due to the pandemic, there will be no electricity supply cut (for failure to pay bills) until the end of March 2021. Customers can contact TNB CareLine if they need an extension to pay their bills.
So what does this mean?
With Malaysia going on the road to recovery from COVID-19, be prudent with using electricity as most would enjoy discounts and rebates. You can pay in instalments but it also means you are only stretching your bills to a longer period. Take note of the initiatives, be aware of how they can benefit you and then plan your usage wisely.