SARAWAK Energy Berhad (SEB) suffered an estimated loss of RM1.3 billion in the past 10 years due to power theft.
This was revealed by Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom who noted that the loss was at its peak in 2010 when SEB lost RM220 million.
However, through effective enforcement, he said the loss had been reduced to RM80 million last year.
“This loss of revenue deprives Sarawak Energy’s genuine paying customers of revenue that could be invested in a more reliable and modern power system for Sarawak,” he told a press conference at the Media Room of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex here yesterday.
In order to address power theft, he said SEB’s utility arm, Syarikat Sesco Berhad (Sesco), follows a stringent and systematic procedure in which a robust and established internal process is already in place for meter inspection, evidence collection, laboratory testing and calculation of arrears.
“My ministry, having a regulatory role, oversees this procedure to ensure fairness and transparency to the customer.”
He added that the ministry is determined to curb this dangerous crime which endangers lives and damages customers’ properties including electrical appliances which may lead to fire, and will not hesitate to take legal action on the perpetrators.
Earlier, when winding up his ministerial speech, Dr Rundi said when electricity irregularities are found, SEB will issue a letter to inform the customer concerned and the corresponding arrears as applicable.
“Sarawak Energy welcomes any enquiry from customers and has put in place a transparent appeal process, if the customer objects to the findings.
“Every effort will be made to ensure cases will be handled with care and professionalism, respecting the individual’s right to a clear and transparent review or appeal process, while upholding individual confidentiality.
“As regulator, my ministry will remain vigilant with regard to this power theft issue but will also ensure strict adherence to the standard operating
procedure (SOP), rules and regulations.”
He also disclosed that the Ministry of Utilities had initiated several campaigns against power theft, which resulted in the reduction of energy consumption through theft from its peak of 12.27 per cent in 2010 to 4.31 per cent today.