Electricity Rebate Implementation In Sarawak, Press Statement From The Ministry Of Utilities, Sarawak

KUCHING, 28 DECEMBER 2018, FRIDAY: The current rebate for electricity usage of RM20 and below is an initiative introduced in October 2008 by the then Federal Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KETTHA) to subsidise electricity bills for lower income groups who typically consume less electricity to meet their basic necessities.

This was implemented nationwide in which the mechanism for the relevant state utility was through direct reimbursement from KETTHA. Since the introduction in 2008, the Federal Government has subsidised the programme through this direct reimbursement mechanism.

For implementation in the state, Sarawak Energy waives payment of electricity bills of RM20 and below. This is subsequently submitted for reimbursement by Sarawak Energy to the Federal Government, now through the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC).

In 2014, the late Chief Minister of Sarawak, Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Adenan Satem announced that the Sarawak State Government would reduce domestic electricity tariffs from 2015 onwards, ensuring a greater number of beneficiaries in Sarawak would be able to enjoy the ongoing RM20 rebate initiative by the Federal Government.

For the implementation of the new RM40 rebate effective from 1 January to 31 December 2019 announced by MESTECC this month to replace the existing consumption-based RM20 rebate, those eligible have been determined to be confined to those with monthly household earnings of RM950 and below registered under the Federal eKasih programme.

This will impact customers from lower income groups who continue to need assistance but may not be registered under eKasih.

A thorough study should be undertaken by the relevant Federal Ministries to address this gap as this has impact nationwide, not just in Sarawak.

The Ministry of Utilities, in close collaboration with Sarawak Energy, will monitor the implementation of the new rebate programme and its impact in Sarawak for the B40 group who may continue to need assistance.