By Afifitri Muhammad
KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 (Bernama) -- Households in Malaysia must be prudent in using electricity by always monitoring their energy consumption in view of the sharp increase in the cost of generating electricity, according to experts.
Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) senior lecturer of electrical engineering Dr Nik Hakimi Nik Ali said through this approach, every household can save on electricity bills and avoid being charged for the Renewable Energy Fund (KWTBB) by the power provider.
“If we use less than 300 kilowatt-hour (kWh) per month, we will not be charged for KWTBB as the power provider will only impose the charge on those using more than 300 kWh per month and the money will be channelled to the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA),” he told Bernama.
Nik Hakimi also called on the public to opt for electrical appliances, such as refrigerators, television, washing machine and air-conditioning unit, with a five-star energy-efficient label.
“Although they are quite expensive, they will help us to save on electricity bills.
“At the same time, the public are also encouraged to change their fluorescent lights to light-emitting diode (LED) lights which will have a positive impact and reduce their monthly bills,” he said.
Meanwhile, Universiti Malaya Faculty of Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering deputy dean, Professor Hazlie Mokhlis, advised consumers to optimise the use of electrical appliances at home so that they are more energy-efficient.
“If we use a fan at home, we need to always clean (the fan) so that we can enjoy maximum use, while for the washing machine, we need to use it optimally, and if we want to iron clothes, collect clothes first then iron all at once, because when we turn on/off the switch it consumes a lot of energy,” he said.
In the meantime, he advised the public to always conduct energy audits at home so that they can see for themselves the daily and monthly consumption trends through the MyTNB application developed by the country's electricity utility.
“The community can also monitor the electricity bill through the MyTNB application and see the pattern of electricity consumption every month, so that they know how to save electricity in the house,” he said.
Yesterday, Bernama reported that an increase in electricity tariff is inevitable due to the surging energy demand, fuel supply disruptions, and the growing shortages of oil, gas, and coal globally which have caused global energy prices to skyrocket - and Malaysia is not immune from the ripple effects arising from this situation.
Putra Business School economic analyst Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff said the tariff rate is going to be higher for households since Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) is currently facing higher energy production costs due to rising gas and coal prices.
At the end of last year, the price of coal surged to US$200 (RM846) per tonne, up from around US$50 per tonne in mid-2020; by the end-May 2022, coal prices had risen to US$434 per tonne, with coal accounting for 59 per cent of Malaysia's key source of electricity generation.
“(TNB) has to make sure the business is sustainable (as a corporate entity), but I hope there will be some form of targeted subsidies for the bottom 40 (B40) group with regards to electricity tariff,” Ahmed Razman said, suggesting that the government should intervene and provide subsidies for TNB over the short term to ensure end customers are not burdened.
He also said that TNB should continue to diversify its gas and coal sources and, over the long run, focus on renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro, and biofuel.
TNB Fuel Services sources coal from Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, and Russia, but Indonesia accounts for approximately 65 per cent of TNB's coal requirements.
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