Thursday, 12 July 2018 | MYT 2:36 PM
No increase in electricity tariffs for domestic users in the next six months, says Minister
PUTRAJAYA: Domestic users will not have to pay any increase in electricity tariffs for the next six months as it has been subsidised by the Government, said Yeo Bee Yin.
"The Government has spent RM114mil so that 81.7% of all electricity users do not need to pay the electricity surcharge," said the Energy, Green Technology, Science and Climate Change Minister.
"So if you look at your house electricity bill, there will be no surcharge, it will be zero, because the Government paid it for you," she said this at a press conference after her inaugural town hall session with energy stakeholders on Thursday.
Yeo was responding to PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli's comment last week on how the increase in electricity tariffs can "kill" all the good measures taken by Pakatan Harapan to lower the cost of living.
She said that Rafizi has got it "wrong" and that low-voltage commercial users will face minimal impact from the tariff increase.
"For 1.1 million of low-voltage commercial users, the impact of surcharge minus the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is less than 70 sen," she said.
"If the mamak stores say that their electricity bill has increased, and therefore the price of nasi lemak has to increase, don't believe them.
"You can report the price increase to the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry," Yeo said, adding that she will explain this further in Parliament next week.
She said that the RM114mil subsidy is from the Government's Electricity Supply Industry Fund.
"We have a RM760mil fund, and the Ministry has spent RM114mil. We are left with a choice on whether to use the balance to subsidise for commercial use, or the next round, we can use the funds again to subsidise for domestic use," she said.
Yeo said that it is important for the Government to protect domestic users and to cushion them in the case of any price increase.
"I want to save the fund for domestic users. If there's an increase in fossil fuel price, we can use the funds to subsidise domestic users," said Yeo.
Yeo added that the RM114mil subsidy will last from July to December. The tariff in Malaysia is reviewed every six months.
Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) had previously said that non-domestic users would have to pay more for their electricity, with the Imbalance Cost Pass-Through (ICPT) surcharge of 1.35 sen per kilowatt per hour (kWh) due to higher fuel and generation costs.