How to reduce electricity costs amid higher charges

One of TNB’s hydro-electric dam to generate electricity. Image courtesy of TNB’s FB

by Aisha Hani Nor Azmir

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24: The electricity tariff adjustment next year, which only involves high volume electricity users, will require consumers to change their attitudes or habits to be more prudent, thrifty and careful, say analysts.

As announced by the Energy Commission (ST) yesterday, consumers with monthly electricity bills of below RM220 will continue to get a rebate of 2 sen/kWh and, as such, every user should monitor their usage to enjoy low charges.

Assoc Prof Dr Jasrul Jamani Jamian, a lecturer at University Teknologi Malaysia’s Faculty of Electrical Engineering, said saving electricity by reducing usage hours is one of the cheapest ways to reduce electricity bills but it would require the commitment of consumers in their attitude.

“Consumers must ensure all electrical equipment not in use is switched off. This way, the usage hours for these electrical equipment will be lower, thus reducing the amount of energy used,” he said.

Yesterday, the ST said electricity tariffs next year will be adjusted every six months based on fluctuations in global fuel prices, under the Imbalance Cost Pass-Through (ICPT) mechanism.

Mesra Pengguna Malaysia president Datuk Seri Haniff Omar, meanwhile, feels that the introduction of the ICPT is to reduce the burden of utility provider TNB following the increase in fuel costs in the form of rebates and surcharges to consumers according to the amount of electricity used.

He said this was because the mechanism aims to provide incentives for low electricity consumption and deter high usage, so that consumers can benefit from the approach by controlling their daily electricity consumption.

“For those who have yet to change their electric meters to smart meters, this is the time to do so because, through the smart meter, they can check their electricity usage daily.

“World fuel prices are expected to continue to rise, so it’s time that we become smart consumers by taking saving measures, such as replacing light bulbs with LED bulbs and using solar energy.

“Although some of these equipment are more expensive, they are very economical in the long run,” he said.

On a similar note, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (FOMCA) chief executive officer Saravanan Thambirajah advised consumers to be more prudent when using electricity and switch to energy-efficient appliances such as LED lights and five-star energy efficiency label appliances.

He said consumers should also get an expert to audit energy usage at home as some appliances can use more energy, especially old air-conditioners, ovens and fridges, or switch to solar energy as it is more affordable under the Net Energy Metering (NEM) programme. 

“As the country is moving towards Net Zero Carbon initiatives, we as consumers can play an important role in achieving a sustainable lifestyle by adopting an energy-efficient lifestyle.

“Switching to solar, hybrid or electric vehicles (EV) and many more will help to achieve sustainable and fair energy transition, which will help to combat climate change impacts,” he said.