Datuk Seri Stephen Rundi Utom

KUCHING: Some 200 homeowners across Sarawak have benefited from the state government’s subsidy for electricity connection charges amounting to over RM600,000.

Minister of Utilities Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said the Connection Charges subsidy effective early this year was to enable low income urban homeowners connect electricity to their new houses.

“This is aimed at alleviating the financial burden for these new homeowners most in need of assistance to meet the cost of connecting electricity from the main power lines to their homes,” he said in a press statement Sunday.

Under this package, electricity connection fees amounting to RM5,000 and below will be completely absorbed by the state government.

For connection fees ranging from RM5,000 to RM10,000 — the state government will subsidise 70 percent of the cost and customers only need to pay the remaining 30 percent.

“We have allocated a total of RM8 million under this subsidy programme for the duration of this year, and almost 200 households have qualified for the subsidy with a cumulative RM600,000 in connection charges waived or discounted since January,” he explained.

A connection charge is the amount to be paid by a customer who requires a new connection, and they are variable and computed based on a standard Schedule of Rates from Connection Charges Guidelines 2019 of Syarikat Sesco Berhad — the operations arm of Sarawak Energy.

“Connection charges normally include per house fee, installation and material costs, capacity charges and meter fees where applicable — in which the charges do not include internal wiring works which is to be undertaken and borne by the homeowner themselves,” the statement said.

Since its implementation, the subsidy has especially helped to support those living at low cost housing areas and residences built as part of government-aided programmes throughout the state.

“To date, a total of 187 homeowners have benefited from the subsidy — of which 162 are eligible for free connection while the remainder had their charges of between RM5,000 to RM10,000 discounted by 70 percent,” the statement added.

Chief executive officer of Sarawak Energy Group Datuk Sharbini Suhaili, highlighted that SEB’s retail team could help to explain to new homeowners on the eligibility requirements for this subsidy and were ever ready to extend assistance.

“We advise homeowners to approach us directly to avoid being misinformed on the subsidy, as this is also to ensure electricity connection from the main power lines to your homes is done safely by competent Sarawak Energy personnel or registered contractors,” he explained.

For enquiries, the public can contact Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111, or send an email at customercare@sarawakenergy.com or via the ‘SEB cares’ mobile application.