How Knowing Your Bills Better May Help You Save Electricity And Money
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It’s a common scenario in any household: You get your monthly electricity bill and by default, your eyes go straight to the bolded text, “Total Amount Payable”. The bill is then put aside without a second look. 

But, did you ever think about finding out how the total amount payable was calculated? The electricity charge is calculated according to meter reading and applying the relevant tariff (or fee). This information is in your bill and as you will see in the article further on, calculating your electricity charge is easy and can help you save energy and money. 

Meanwhile, the current situation of staying home to curb the pandemic and hot weather is likely to have increased electricity usage but it’s also important to create a comfortable environment where everyone can work, study, and rest well.

So, if you’ve been thinking about lowering electricity usage without compromising on comfort, understanding how your bill is calculated can help you be more aware about using electricity efficiently and saving more energy in the long run.

How Your Electricity Bill Is Calculated

For those of you who never gave your electricity bills a second look, the bill is full of information that can be useful in helping you better understand your electric usage. 

One important section on your bill is the Tariff Block (kWh) table. For residences, electricity usage is usually charged based on a 5-block price rate, such as in the table below.  

Consumption BlockUnitCurrent rate (remain unchanged since 1 Jan 2014)
Tariff A – Domestic
For the first 200 kWh (1 – 200 kWh) per monthRM/kWh0.2180
For the next 100 kWh (201 – 300 kWh) per monthRM/kWh0.3340
For the next 300 kWh (301 – 600 kWh) per monthRM/kWh0.5160
For the next 300 kWh (601 – 900 kWh) per monthRM/kWh0.5460
For the next kWh (901 kWh onwards) per monthRM/kWh0.5710
Minimum monthly charge is RM3.00
Source: Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)

For example, customer A has a consumption of 350 kWh in his bill. Based on the price rate stated in the tariff book, the consumption will be divided into blocks as below.

Consumption blockUsage (kWh)Rate (RM/kWh)
For the first 200 kWh per month2000.218
For the next 100 kWh per month1000.334
For the next 300 kWh per month500.516

Customer A’s total consumption rate would be calculated as follows. 

For the first 200 kWh electricity usage per month: 200 x RM0.218 = RM43.60

For the next 100 kWh electricity usage per month: 100 x RM0.334 = RM33.40

For the next 300 kWh electricity usage per month: 50 x RM0.516 = RM25.80

Total consumption rate = RM102.80

Total consumption rate

=(200 x RM0.218) + (100 x RM0.334) + (50 x RM0.516)

=RM102.80 + (102.80 x 1.6%) 

= RM104.44

For usage above 600kWh/month and a billing period above 28 days, a 6% service tax will apply for the extra usage above 600kWh. 

For usage above 300kWh/month, 1.6% Kumpulan Wang Tenaga Boleh Baharu (*KWTBB) charges will apply for the total monthly consumption.

*RE Fund (KWTBB) is a fund collected by the government through consumer’s electricity consumption. The fund will be used to promote growth of electricity generation from renewable energy resources.

With this, it’s important to be mindful of your electricity consumption as every little bit of effort counts. This is to encourage good consumption habits and discourage wastage. The more electricity one uses, the more you’re charged and at a higher rate. For example, with the information from the bill, customer A can try to keep his electricity usage to 300 kWh and save RM25.80, which is a quarter of his bill.

Different Household, Different Bills

Now that you know how the calculation works, you might want to know what kind of living habits in general cause higher energy consumption, and what doesn’t. Don’t be surprised if the little things you do every day at home can determine your electricity charges. 

For example, an elderly couple who lives in a small terrace home without air-conditioning and doesn’t use much energy may result in an energy consumption of only 150kWh/month.

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, our homes have been working double- or triple-duty as offices, movie theatres, and restaurants. Before, a group of 3 young people renting out a small apartment might not have consumed too much energy but now that they’re working from home, they have 3 office setups under one roof in one home with air-conditioning switched on all day. Their energy consumption would have risen as well from between 300kWh/month to 450kWh/month.

The same goes for a larger family with 5 children living in a semi-detached property. One parent is working from home and 4 children have e-learning activities every day. They use air-conditioning at night, cook at home mostly, and do a lot of household chores like laundry.  Their energy consumption could be around 900kWh/month.

Living Efficiently Helps Save Energy

Energy-saving habits are not necessarily about using less electricity and compromising on comfort but rather, using electricity in an efficient manner that also improves your quality of life.   

To understand how we can improve our efficiency in using electricity, we will first need to understand how the wattage of our appliances affect the amount of energy we consume. The amount of energy we use is measured using kWh (kilowatt hour). One kilowatt hour refers to the amount of energy needed to run a 1,000-watt appliance for 1 hour. 

For example, you would have to run a 500-watt device for 2 hours to be charged for 1 kWh of usage. Or if you run a 2,000-watt device for just 30 minutes, you would be charged the same amount.

So, if you use more appliances at home that run on higher wattages, you will use more electricity the longer they are being used.

That is why, investing in electrical appliances that come with a 5-star energy rating can save you money in the long run, reduce carbon footprint, and improve the quality of you and your family’s life. 

In addition, learn ways to use your electrical appliances in a more energy-efficient way like cleaning your air-conditioner’s filter regularly. This way, you get to breathe in cleaner air as well. Also, make use of natural resources like sunlight instead of leaving your lights switched on during the day.

In the digital era, our computer, laptop, and television are hooked up 24/7. Although we’re cooped up at home, we can still do a digital detox and go back to a simpler time with activities like reading, playing board games, and trying out no-bake recipes. A plus point is these activities make for a good family bonding session as well!

Calculate Energy Usage For Your Home

We’ve highlighted certain living scenarios above and the rough estimates of energy consumption for those households. However, if you want to be more specific, there’s a home energy calculator here that you can use to understand your household’s energy consumption and manage your appliances better.

The good news is, it’s also interactive! You can use the home energy calculator to get an estimate of your electricity consumption and buy the most efficient electrical appliance for your home. 

Otherwise, you can also peruse the energy usage calculator to get an estimate of your electricity usage over a 30-day period. 

***

As we’re now spending more time at home, energy consumption is more likely to have increased as well. There are smart ways to go about saving energy and money and they don’t have to compromise on our comfort.

By knowing your bills better, implementing the knowledge in your daily life, and adopting energy-saving habits, you can save energy and money over the long run. Conserving energy is also not just great for our pockets, but kind to our environment as well. So, find out more about energy-saving tips here with TNB today! You can also download myTNB app here or login to use the myTNB portal here to monitor your energy usage. 

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