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Expensive Electric Bill? Start Calculating Your Electricity Cost to Save Monies

Updated 16 Aug 2019 – By Nisya Aziz


Recently, Malaysians were shocked by the unusually high electricity bill charges by TNB. Whether it’s online or offline, people were pissed and annoyed. We also had keyboard warriors stepping into the fray with their ‘essential’ comments. So, what happened? 

Just in case you didn’t get the memo, rumour has it that the government has instructed the utility company to increase electricity tariffs by 30%. But actually, it was caused by some ‘technical issues’. To those who still feel that their bill is expensive, you’re advised to go to any Kedai Tenaga to sort this matter.
 



That aside, how do we make sure that we’re charged fairly? Or complaining is the only thing that we’re good at? Well, if you already know how to read and calculate your monthly electricity cost, GOOD - you’ll go far in life. And if you don’t, maybe it’s time to discover which appliances are costing you more money and what to cut down. Remember, YOU can CONTROL and MONITOR your electricity usage at home. But, before we go into the calculation details...
 

Do you know that there are peak and off-peak hours for electric consumption?


Image source: TNB

Yup, there is. Time of Use (TOU) tariff scheme offers different rates at different times of the day. This scheme was introduced to encourage efficient energy usage. For example, the tariff rates during the off-peak period (10 pm to 8 am) will be lower than the peak period (8 am to 10 pm). Take note this scheme only applies to commercial, industrial, agriculture and mining industries - NOT domestic.



if you’re living in a commercial titled residences like SoHo, SoVo and SoFo units, you’re subject to commercial assessments, quit rents, and telephone and utility charges. It means that your electricity bill will be higher than the residential-titled properties. Additionally, the serviced apartments are also subject to commercial rates unless it can be justified to the authorities of a unit’s residential usage. So, sendiri mau ingat lah.

You can see the differences in pricing based on the minimum monthly electricity charge. TNB shared on its website that the minimum charge for low voltage commercial premises is RM7.20, while for domestic premises is RM3. Check out the commercial tariff here.
 

Alright, let’s get to the calculation of the monthly electricity cost

Take note that electricity consumption cost per household depends on your family size, living habits, number and age of electrical appliances, as well as the hours of usage. Below is the current tariff for the domestic consumer.
 
Tariff Block Current Rate (RM/kWh)
For the first 200 kWh (1 - 200 kWh) per month 0.218
For the next 100 kWh (201 - 300 kWh) per month 0.334
For the next 300 kWh (301 - 600 kWh) per month 0.516
For the next 300 kWh (601 - 900 kWh) per month 0.546
For the next kWh (901 kWh onwards) per month 0.571
*The minimum monthly charge is RM3.00


First, you need to know your monthly electricity consumption

It can be a bit tough at first because you never really keep track of this. But if you make it a habit, you’ll get the hang of it. To get started, you’ll need to know below:
  • The capacity of your electrical appliance, expressed in watt (W). You can usually find this on the box of the item or ask Mr Google.
  • The number of hours that the appliance is in use in one day.
 

Electricity consumption formula:
Number of Appliances x Total Capacity of The Appliances (W) x Hours of Usage


For example, below are the appliances used at your home and the total electricity consumption.
 
Number of Appliances Total Capacity of The Appliances (W) Hours of Usage Total Consumption (W)
6 Fluorescent lights 38 (6.3 each) 5 1,140
1 Television 100 4 400
2 Ceiling fans 60 (30 each) 4 480
1 Refrigerator 700 24 16,800
1 Iron 1000 0.5 500
1 Electric kettle 1000 0.25 250
1 Aircond 950 8 7,600

So, the total electricity usage in day in kWh is
= (1,140 + 400 + 480 + 16,800 + 500 + 250 + 7,600) / 1000
= 27.17 kWh

Let’s just assume that you have the same amount of electricity consumption for a month (30 days). This means that your consumption within a month is 
= 27.17 kWh x 30 days
= 815.1 kWh
 

Then, you calculate the cost of the electricity that you’d need to pay according to the current tariff block

So, your electricity usage will be divided according to the current block tariff (like below). The concept is similar to the office building/shopping mall parking rate. Then you multiply the block prorate with the tariff rate set. Next, you sum up the amount of each block tariff to get the total cost of electric consumption.

Unit (kWh) Estimated: 815.1 kWh
 
Tariff Block Block Prorate (kWh) Rate (RM) Amount (RM)
200 200 0.218 43.60
100 100 0.334 33.40
300 300 0.516 154.80
300 215.1 0.546 117.44
Total 815.1 - 349.24

But, that is not the final amount. Since your electricity consumption per month is above 600kWh, the extra 215.1kWh will be charged with 6% service tax


TNB bill sample

On top of that, you’ll also be charged with the Renewable Energy Fund (KWWTB), which is 1.6% of your total usage of the month. Take note that this fund collection applies to all except for domestic customers with electricity consumption of 300kWh and below per month.

So, if you can’t afford expensive bills or just super kiamsiap about it, make sure that your electricity consumption is below 300kWh, which is equivalent to RM77. Or if you want to keep your bill below RM50, then use only 200kWh monthly.
 

Okay, but what if the billing period is more than 31 days of a normal billing cycle?

Then the prorate method will be used to allocate units for each tariff block. Bear in mind that the prorate factor will only be used for the first 600kWh. For instance: 

Billing Period: 08.07.2016 - 14.08.2019 (37 Days)
Unit (kWh) Estimated: 1082 kWh
Prorate Factor: 37 Day / 30 Day = 1.23
 
Tariff Block Block Prorate (kWh) Rate (RM) Amount (RM)
200 200 x 1.23 = 246 0.218 53.62
100 100 x 1.23 = 123 0.334 41.08
300 300 x 1.23 = 369 0.516 190.40
300 1082 - (246 + 123 + 369) = 444 0.546 242.42
Total 1082 - 527.52

This means that your electricity consumption cost is RM527.52, excluding service tax and KWWTB.

 

Now that you know how to calculate your electricity consumption, go forth and complain like a bawse!


Wait for it...

If you have to complain, the least you can do is to understand what you’re complaining about and how to complain about it so that you can get a satisfactory outcome. Takdelah you feel more frustrated. Also, people cannot simply goreng you dah. 

Anyway, we hope that the explanation above would help you when you tak puas hati with the electricity bill. Beyond that, it will also help you to gauge which home appliances are using a lot of electricity. Don’t forget to share it with your family and friends too ya!

One more thing we forgot to mention is if you pay your bill late, TNB will charge 1% of your total usage of the month.

Happy calculating!
 
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