Supermarket’s claim against Sarawak Energy dismissed

Foreign components found in the meter — receiver, relay and wires.

KUCHING: The Sessions Court in Sibu recently dismissed a claim against Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) by a supermarket owner at Jalan Salim as evidence in the case clearly showed that the supermarket’s electricity meter had been tampered with.

The presiding judge ruled that the proprietor had failed to prove their claim and he further allowed SEB to counterclaim with costs.

“The customer was charged with arrears amounting to RM127,932.60 on May 25, 2015. While waiting for the outcome of their appeal to the power utility against the arrears charged, the supermarket owners filed an injunction against SEB to prevent disconnection of supply and its demand for arrears on March 14, 2018.

“Findings from the investigation showed that a remote control relay was installed inside the meter and the meter’s electronic circuit board had been tampered with, resulting in unregistered electricity consumption,” said SEB in a statement recently.

Unregistered electricity consumption through by-passing the electricity meter is classified as stealing electricity in Sarawak – a criminal offence under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance carrying a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years’ jail.

It also endangers lives and can damage customer’s properties including electrical appliances which may lead to fire.

SEB is mandated to recover arrears or estimated unpaid amounts as a result of theft by the account holders.

The utility company continues to carry out meter inspections and investigations throughout Sarawak together with the state Utilities Ministry and the police to curb the dangerous crime.

Customers are reminded not to trust service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills or enjoy limitless electricity as meter inspection teams are trained to detect power theft through meter tampering.

SEB encouraged the public to continue to report about any power theft information, including details of power theft service providers via SEB’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111 or email at customercare@sarawakenergy.com. All information obtained will be kept strictly confidential.