Sabah Electricity says 80pc of its consumers owe company RM200m in outstanding utility bills

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 17 — Eighty per cent of consumers of Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) owe the utility company RM200 million in outstanding bills.

SESB chairman Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said that SESB has procedures to collect the amount from the 400,000 consumers.

“First we send them a pink notice, and after that, if they still default on payment, we send them a yellow notice and will cut the service,” he told reporters here yesterday.

He added that if one sees an unlit streetlight, the electricity has probably been cut because of non payment.

“It (the street lights) do not belong to SESB. It belongs to the local government,” he said.

Madius was also asked to comment on power theft in Sabah and he replied that presently SESB experiences six per cent loss due to system loss.

He added that SESB aims to reduce the system loss it experiences to three per cent.

“We are working on that. We are going to use an Independent Power Distributor who will be holding all the meters, and the consumers will have to purchase prepaid cards (to use electricity).”

“We have started at Kampung Forest in Sandakan,” he said.

Madius also said that SESB must be able to stand on its own by the year 2030.

“SESB must be independent. We must be able to stand on our own like Sarawak,” he said.

He added that by 2030, the tariff support and cost recovery of RM800 million will no longer be borne by the federal government.

He also said that as a corporate entity, SESB will have to reduce its cost of buying electricity (presently at 43 sen/unit from independent power producers), and with regards to the electricity tariff, the State Government would have to consider it seriously.

“In terms of tariffs, I think both the people and the government need to consider it seriously. Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s rate is 39 sen, while ours is 34 sen.”

He reminded that electricity, aside from being a utility, is also a matter of national security in terms of defence and the police to maintain order.

Madius also commented on Sabah Housing And Real Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA) president Datuk Chua Soon Ping’s proposal to allow houses in Sabah to be installed with a solar panel so that they can become mini independent power producers (IPP).

He urged Chua to bring the issue up to the Energy Commision of Sabah (ECOS) and reminded that SESB only buys electricity and ECOS is the regulator. — Borneo Post Online



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