How TNB has been ripping you off

Tenaga Nasional Berhad, or better known as TNB for the Malaysian folks, is the sole electricity power supplier in Malaysia and they monopolize the whole market by supplying electricity to all households, business premises and etc. But TNB has been ripping off their customers without them knowing for a long time.

Today I am going to tell you how they do it.

(null)As you know (if you don’t, you will know especially after reading this), your electricity charges fall into different tariff block. The basic structure of TNB tariff is that the more electricity you used, the more you pay and there’s a tariff block depending on your usage. Please refer to the table below and also the picture of TNB bill for illustration. (Note: The image is for illustration purpose only and it is taken from TNB website. It is not an actual bill and definitely not mine.)

Usage Tariff Rate
For the first 200 kWh (1 – 200 kWh) per month 21.80 sen/kWh
For the next 100 kWh (201 – 300 kWh) per month 33.40 sen/kWh
For the next 100 kWh (301 – 400 kWh) per month 51.60 sen/kWh
For the next 100kWh (401 – 500 kWh) per month 51.60 sen/kWh
For the next 100 kWh (501 – 600 kWh) per month 51.60 sen/kWh
For the next 100 kWh (601 – 700 kWh) per month 54.60 sen/kWh
For the next 100 kWh (701 – 800 kWh) per month 54.60 sen/kWh
For the next 100 kWh (801 – 900 kWh) per month 54.60 sen/kWh
For the next kWh (901 kWh onwards) per month 57.10 sen/kWh

(Source from TNB website)

From the tariff block table and the bill, it all look proper and nothing could go wrong so how did TNB rip off their customers?

From the image above, look no further than item number 5. Yes, the magic number 5.

Do you notice that in item 5, it is the actual reading period? Yes, the billing cycle is not actual 30 days but it is more than that. From the image that is officially from TNB, it is stated that the billing cycle is 35 days. When I look at my bill, it is minimum of 32 days and sometimes 36 days.

So what does that mean?

The more days they wait to bill you, the more you are using. So according to the tariff table and the charges for different tariff block, you’ll be paying more because the more you use, the more you’ll be charged per KWh (unit).

Let me show you a very simple calculation and by no means this is accurate but more for illustration purpose only.

Let’s just say I used 714 kWh for 35 days just like the image from TNB. For simple and easy calculation, I’m using an average of 20.4 kWh per day (714 kWh divided by 35 days and of course the usage varies day to day). So if the billing cycle is actual 30 days, I will be using 30 days x20.4 kWh = 612kWh!

So how much is my charges? Let’s use the TNB image again for our calculation.
First 200kWh: 226 x 0.218 = 49.27
Subsequent 100kWh: 113 x 0.334 = 37.74
Subsequent 300kWh: 273 x 0.516 = 140.87
Your monthly bill is: RM 227.88

But because it’s 35 days billing cycle, your total electricity charges become RM281.59 (as shown in the picture), that’s RM53.71 extra!

When TNB deploys such simple trick, you’ll be paying more for electric bill when in fact it should be lower and cheaper. So let’s just say you’re paying RM10 more per month, and with the number of households being affected by this, this amount to millions of ringgit per month extra for TNB!

If you don’t believe me, dig out your TNB bills and see if your billing cycle is more than 30 days.