With the sudden spike in electrical bill that agitated Malaysians, the news exposure on Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) saw an unprecedented increase in June.
Since Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented on 18th March 2020, many industry sectors had closed their businesses or halt their economic activities, including TNB.
TNB had suspended their manual meter readings since 20th March 2020 and resumed on 15th May 2020. During the time period, consumers were charged with an estimated bill.
With the resumption of meter readings, the accumulated actual amount of usage during MCO is now charged in lump sum since end of May forward.
In June, the sentiment on news title related to TNB has been largely mixed. The brewing dissatisfaction on the electrical bill since May reached its climax on mid-June as TNB was summoned by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA) to clarify the issue. The negative sentiments on the headline on the date is observable, followed by positive sentiments on June 20 when Bantuan Prihatin Elektrik (BPE) was promptly announced to address the public outcry.
Over the past one-month period, the electricity bill appears as the leading topic on the electrical provider. Many consumers were shocked when they receive their May electricity bill as they were slapped with a hefty bill by TNB.
With BPE, 7.66 million households across the country were reported to benefit from the initiative. Consumers are to enjoy electricity bill discounts between 2% and 50%, in addition to the electricity discount announced by the prime minister on March 27, 2020, under the Prihatin Economic Stimulus Package.
However, among the issue that was raised on the billing is the fact that many consumers do not feel the impact of the purported discounts offered by the government. Despite the two percent discount given to domestic users, the exponential increase in the bill has been perceived to out shadow the initiative. The discounts were given based on their total electricity usage.