KUCHING, Oct 2 — Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) today said that its utility arm Syarikat Sesco Berhad (Sesco) suffered losses of RM81 million as of May this year through electricity thefts over the years.
The state-owned power provider said Sesco will recover the loss of revenue by issuing arrears bills to the customers found stealing electricity under Section 33A of the state Electricity Ordinance.
“Although there is no discount policy for meter tampering cases, the customers can approach any Sesco office to submit their appeals to the Arrears Appeal Committee by presenting any documentation or evidence to support their appeal to the interview panel if they have any valid grounds to do so,” SEB said.
It added that all cases will be assessed thoroughly to ensure a fair final determination of the arrears with the outcome notified to customers.
“If the customers are dissatisfied and aggrieved with the outcome, then their next recourse is to pursue court action,” it said.
SEB said that the arrears after an investigation on a meter tampering case will be calculated based on the account holder’s consumption record and history, technical evidence and other relevant evidence.
“While we appreciate the cooperation of customers who pay their arrears according to the stipulated deadline in their arrears bills, those who have difficulty in paying the amount in one lump sum can request for installment-based payment plans subject to relevant terms and conditions,” it said.
SEB said it remains committed to curbing electricity theft as stealing electricity is a criminal offence and a dangerous act.
It said unsafe non-standard wirings and illegal connections used to tamper the wiring to bypass the meter pose an extreme safety risk to the public, adding that it can cause electrocution, fire and even death.
“They can also damage electrical appliances and cause localised power interruptions,” SEB said, citing a case of a domestic customer at Jalan Song, Kuching, who was charged with arrears of around RM45,000 for meter tampering.
“The evidence showed that the customer had repeatedly tampered with the electricity meter since 2011 and the meter had been replaced thrice,” SEB said.
SEB also reminded consumers that electricity theft is a criminal offence that carries a penalty of a fine of RM100,000 or five years’ imprisonment or both upon conviction in court.
Related Articles Sarawak Energy denies Baleh dam works behind river logjam Sarawak Energy’s service counters open only to those fully vaccinated against Covid-19 Sarawak Energy says power outage on Saturday caused by lightning strikes on Murum transmission lines