The government has announced a one-off assistance to ease the burden of higher-than-usual electricity bills during the months of the movement control order (MCO). Dubbed the Bantuan Prihatin Elektrik (BPE), all domestic users will get RM77 worth of free electricity per month for the months of April, May, and June 2020.
The RM77 worth of free electricity is equivalent to the first 300kWh of electricity usage in a given month. This new BPE rebate is given on top of the discounts offered under the previous Prihatin Economic Stimulus Package, which gives discounts from April to September in the range of 2-50% depending on electricity usage. The BPE also introduces an additional discount to domestic users in the 601-900kWH range: these customers will get a 10% discount on top of the monthly RM77 rebates instead of the 2% previously.
Therefore, under the BPE, all domestic users will at get a rebate of at least RM231 across three months. The BPE assistance will be reflected as a one-off assistance in the July 2020 bill; if customers have made payment for April, May, and June, the excess amount paid during those three months will be credited into the July 2020 bill as well. Customers do not need to check for eligibility or make any applications to receive the BPE; all domestic customers will automatically receive it, including Smart Meter customers.
The BPE was announced by the Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah and is funded by the Malaysian government with TNB. During the MCO period, many Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) customers voiced complaints that their electricity bills have been much higher than usual and thus the government has provided the BPE to ease this burden.
In addressing the question of whether or not there were mistakes in the previous bill calculations that led to the high electricity bills, TNB stated in its FAQ that its calculation method “has been reviewed and approved by the Energy Commission and is commonly used by global-leading electric utility companies”.
According to Datuk Dr Shamsul, a total of four million or 52.2% of domestic electricity users will enjoy a completely free supply for three months under this BPE scheme. Meanwhile, as many as 916,000 users or 12% of total domestic users would enjoy the additional 8% discount offered to those in the 601-900kWh tariff block; it had been found in studies by the Energy Commission that it was this tariff block that had been most affected by high electricity bills during the MCO.
You may view TNB’s frequently asked questions regarding the BPE assistance on its website here.