KUANTAN, Aug 14: Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) will take stern measures including legal action against owners of premises to recover the millions of ringgit lost through electricity theft.
TNB metering, distributing network general manager Siti Sarah Johana Mohd Said said in cases where the power theft was committed by tenants, the owners of the premises would be held accountable if the accounts are under their name.
“A letter of demand will be issued to the owner of the premises account after we disconnected the electricity supply,” she told reporters when met recently.
Under Section 37 of the Electricity Supply Act, those found guilty of electricity theft can be slapped with a maximum penalty of RM100,000 or three years’ jail.
She said TNB is permitted to cut off supply for no more than three months and take legal action against the owner of the premises. TNB is also permitted to file claims for payment on electricity which was stolen up to five years ago.
She noted that the Energy Commission (EC) had urged premises owners to be aware of such activities in their premises and to transfer the TNB account temporarily to the tenant’s name.
“If the owners move away and rent out the premises, they must perform the change of tenancy by changing the name on the existing electric bill account to avoid facing claims for any unpaid bills,” she said.
Siti Sarah Johana said the change of tenancy can be made online via the MyTNB Self Service Portal or at any Kedai Tenaga TNB.
She said the huge revenue loss occurred, among others, due to tampered electricity distribution boards in Bitcoin mining operations.
She said as of June this year, TNB lost RM106 million from such activities involving 457 cases in the peninsula, with Selangor itself recording the highest number at 370 cases.
Recently, 33 premises around Kuantan were raided on suspicion of tampering with electricity distribution boards in Bitcoin cryptocurrency mining activities, which resulted in a loss of RM3.2 million to the utility company.