TNB's Easy Payment Plan? Sounds like a Plan! | The Full Frontal

TNB’s Easy Payment Plan? Sounds like a Plan!

Quick science quiz – Who invented electricity? Was it:

a) Thomas Edison

b) Nikolai Tesla

c) Benjamin Franklin

d) Thor, God of Thunder

Answer – None of the above.

Electricity was not invented by anyone. It’s a natural force, an energy source created by mother nature itself.

Harnessing electricity and making use of its powers, however, is done by utility companies like Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), running it safely so that it lights up your homes and your phones.

Of course, unlike Thor Odinson, all that harnessing, operating and managing comes with endless risks, and risks require expertise and expertise does not come for free.

But there’s a dilemma here.

In recent months from the start of the quarantine three months ago, domestic electricity usage has since doubled. With the MCO-compliance rate reaching an average of over 90%, Malaysians really did stay home, but staying home incurs a bit of a cost, translated into higher TNB bills than normal.

This is a cost not many would be glad to oblige.

Especially since the recent growth of the unemployment rate reaching up to 700,000 Malaysians while many others are suffering from pay cuts, loss of earnings and business closures.

Some if not most, are diligently calculating life’s little expenses so that every sen counts.

While electricity usage has been at an all-time high, it’s only humane to not burden Malaysians even more.

That’s why in late May, TNB introduced the Easy Payment Plan, a plan to make your bill payments, easier.

Explaining the TNB Easy Payment Plan

Just like the moratorium – Why not?

The Easy Payment Plan (EPP) is a plan automatically offered to all 7.5 million domestic households. Your bill may now be paid in monthly instalments, distributing the bigger burden into a smaller, bite-sized monthly payment.

When the quarantine started, all meter reading operations stopped due to safety and health concerns so to put a figure on your usage, TNB will estimate your bill. 

TNB Estimated Bill
No printed bills, no meter reader to come knocking during the MCO.

It’s where your stay-at-home bill is estimated from your previous, pre-pandemic usage – an average figure much lesser than now.

TNB Arc Flash Suit
Not a meter reader but this full Arc Flash Suit worn by our Abang TNB is what determines a life & death situation so that your light bulb stays on.

Upon the announcement of the CMCO, meter readers (those boys in light blue) are resuming their operation to come knocking, check your meter and give you the actual reading of your usage.

Now, this is where the problem kicks in.

Your usage DURING the quarantine compared to BEFORE quarantine is literally night and day. 

You turn on your air conditioner almost every hour, you charge your laptops and phones every chance you got and basically every single thing you do at home translates to higher consumption. Previously, it’s safe to say your office took half of the burden but now you’re on your own.

How now, brown cow?

Here you go.

1) Enter the EPP

If you’re a domestic user (means you’re a home consumer lah), you’re automatically qualified. Like the moratorium, nobody needs to go to any counters to apply.

2) How long will it apply?

The EPP is offered from now until 31 December 2020. Within this period, you’re given the option to enjoy the EPP OR pay the total amount of your bill.

3) How much should I pay?

This, of course, varies. Check your bill (printed or from the myTNB app – Android or Apple) and look out for the yellow box on the top right corner. This special box will display the total bill (should you use to pay a lump sum) OR a the EPP with a reasonable monthly figure, already calculated for you. The basic formula is this – your current bill is divided into monthly portions up until December 2020, and this figure will be reflected in the yellow box.

4) I prefer bite-sized payments. How do I start paying?

Since you’re automatically eligible, there’s really nothing else for you to do except to start paying the EPP figure (yellow box) at any official TNB payment channels. What are the channels?

Other than the apps above, there are tonnes of payment channels you may choose from like myTNB Self Service Portal, Kedai Tenaga, JomPAY, 1 Stop Center (Post Office, Telekom Malaysia), credit card & direct debit autopay, ATM & CDM machines and even bank counters.

5) I’m having trouble paying through these channels because I live in a cave in a mountain in Timbuktu. Macam mana?

From 18 March, there will be no late payment surcharge.

Should you, for whatever reason have troubles making payment through the above channels, TNB has pledged in waiving late payment surcharge until 30 September. To ease the burden of most affected Malaysians, they have also suspended disconnections up until 31 July.

Even if you chose the EPP, you’re given 30 days to settle the monthly figure.

Chipping in So You Could Move On

Coming through to do their part to help Malaysians.

In times like these, we all learn to love again. We learn to be compassionate of one another. Other than the contributions by government, GLC and private sectors, utility companies like TNB are also doing their part in making our lives easier.

Apart from offering a more consumer-friendly utility service, TNB has tripled its service, working round the clock to ensure the light stays on from day 1 of the MCO. Noticed frequent blackouts during quarantine? We doubt so.

In March, TNB has pledged RM10 million to the Ministry of Health to fight the pandemic before introducing a pre-package to the Economic Stimulus Package (announced by PM Muhyiddin Yassin), offering a 6-month discount not just for the regular Malaysians but also the six sectors identified as the hardest hit – hotel operators, travel agencies, airlines, malls, convention centres and theme parks.

It then pledges another RM150 million for a nationwide electricity rebate amounting from 15% to 50%.

Remember the roadblocks?

How do you think all those security posts were powered? TNB has also helped set up proper lighting to these posts to provide comfort and assistance to our police and army, working hard to protect us day and night.

Forgotten Heroes

TNB line
Ever wondered how electricity reaches your home? Well, it’s not just a flick of the switch.

It’s understandable that we gave high praises for our frontliners like medical workers, armed forces and even delivery men but we often forget those we can’t see.

Of course, one may argue that the service is paid for but were the services to deliver your food, keep you safe or keep you healthy comes free?

2020 still is a glass half full and everyone’s chipping in so that we could move on and live a better life. To help us get ready for what’s coming, it takes a whole lot of teamwork and a whole lot of invisible figures who often go unnoticed.

We may think that utility bills are not really a big of a deal. But in actual fact, it is to others.

Maybe it’s about time to say thank you to the meter reader guy the next time he comes around, the same way you would thank the policeman, the nurse and the food delivery guy.

If you’re looking for more financial help to move forward in 2020, you might want to give THIS a read.