KUCHING: Sarawak Energy has assured its customers that it has an established internal process in dealing with meter tampering cases. 

The company said its utility arm, Syarikat Sesco Berhad’s meter inspection team adhered to a stringent and systematic procedure to ensure that all evidence were collected, examined and preserved as guided by the provisions of the Electricity Ordinance.

Sesco works closely with the Electrical Inspectorate Unit of the State Utilities Ministry and the police to curb this dangerous crime, which endangers lives and damages customers’ properties, including electrical appliances which may lead to fire.

“Sesco’s meter inspection team follows the established standard operating procedures in performing meter inspection which includes detailed checking of abnormalities on meter and its installation such as disturbed seals or modification to meter’s wiring.

“The seized exhibits will then be sent to meter laboratory for further comprehensive tests and validation on the meter irregularities before final confirmation of results.

“Subsequently, a letter will be issued to inform the customer on the irregularities and the arrears charged to recover the loss of revenue due to the meter tampering act. Should the customer need further clarification, the customer can approach Sesco’s officer as stated in the arrears letter,” Sarawak Energy said in a press statement.

Sarawak Energy said Sesco had also put in place an appeal process if the customer objected to the findings.

The customers can approach any Sesco office to submit their appeals. This mechanism provides opportunity for the customers to present any documentation or evidence to support their appeal. All cases will be assessed thoroughly ensuring a fair final determination of the arrears with the outcome notified to the customers.

According to Sarawak Energy, in Miri, about 80 accounts had been disconnected in October for outstanding arrears arising from meter tampering.

Of the figure, 28 had settled their arrears in full, 16 others appealed, 32 opted to settle their arrears in instalments while four, no response.

As for the two cases in Miri highlighted in the press recently, Sarawak Energy said both suspected tampered meters were seized with acknowledgement of the respective customer representatives at site.

Arrears letters were then issued to both customers with details of the tampering and the arrears charged. These arrears would appear in the customer’s monthly electricity bills if left unpaid.

The tampering was detected due to abnormally low monthly consumption. The meter reading reverts to the typical monthly consumption after the meters were replaced. The arrears are derived based on these differences and where the consumers disagreed, any dispute may be raised in the appeal process.

Customers can contact Sarawak Energy Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 directly should they have any queries. For further enquiries on arrears charged, customers are urged to approach Sesco personally.