How Are You Billed For Electricity & Water Usage?

After years of paying your utility bills, have you figured out how you are being charged for your water and electricity consumption? Have you analyzed your bills thoroughly and considered where the charges are attributed to and why? First, let us take a look at the systems in place to track your usage and billing of electricity.


Generally, billing of electricity is pegged to the tariff rates and block versus amount of units used.

Electricity consumption in a household is dependent on multiple factors, such as the number of live-in tenants, their living habits as well as the number of electrical appliances at home. This can be further broken down into: power rating of the electrical appliances as well as the age/efficiency of the item, number of hours of usage of each appliance as well as the tariff rate per kilowatt per hour (kWh) or unit.

The power rating determines how many units of electricity is being used per hour. For example, a refrigerator uses 1.2 units a day and a television uses 0.15 units for 5 hours consumption. Most heating or cooling appliances consume the most electricity. Faulty appliances such as old iron boxes or vacuum cleaners may have grounding issues which reduce efficiency and thus us more electricity.

electric billSource: aloewella

Tariffs is the charge per unit of electricity used as determined by the governing bodies and electrical companies. Domestic tariffs, or Tariff A is for residential and non-commercial usage.

Tariff A – Domestic Tariff

For the first 200 kWh (1 – 200 kWh) per month :21.80 sen/kWh

For the next 100 kWh (201 – 300 kWh) per month :33.40 sen/kWh 33.40 sen

For the next 100 kWh (301 – 600 kWh) per month :51.60 sen/kWh

For the next 100kWh (601 – 900 kWh) per month :54.60 sen/kWh

For the next kWh (901 kWh onwards) per month :57.10 sen/kWh

The minimum monthly charge is RM3.00

Source: tnb


The commercial and industrial rates are under Tariff B, Tariff C and so on.

All consumption levels are registered and monitored via electric meters installed within the premise, which tracks the the total number of units used.  Unfortunately the bill does not itemise how much KwH is consumed for each electrical appliance in your home. But you might be able to figure this out through some simple investigation and deduction exercises.


Much like electricity billing, the cost is pegged to the tariff versus cubic meters (m³) used.

water bill

Source: aloewella

Taking the billing system in Selangor as an example, the main distributor here is SYABAS. They follow a pro-rate billing system which is a 3 band tariff for domestic usage and a 2 band system for commercial usage. This an example of how the tariff works for domestic bill calculation (Tariff Code – 10 Domestic)

Billing days : 33 days
Billing Period : 33 days/ 31 days (1 month) = 1.06 month:Consumption : 40 m³
20 m³ x 33 days / 31 days = 21.20 m³ x RM 0.57 = RM 12.08
15 m³ x 33 days / 31 days = 15.90 m³ x RM 1.03 = RM 16.38
Remainder = 2.90 m³ x RM 2.00 = RM 5.80
TOTAL RM 34.26
Billing days : 31 daysBilling Period : 31 days / 31 days ( 1 month ) = 1.00 monthConsumption : 40 m³
20 m³ x 31 days / 31 days = 20 m³ x RM 0.57 = RM 11.40
15 m³ x 31 days / 31 days = 15 m³ x RM 1.03 = RM 15.45
Remainder = 5 m³ x RM 2.00 = RM 10.00
TOTAL RM 36.85
Billing days : 27 daysBilling Period : 27 days / 31 days ( 1 month ) = 0.87 monthConsumption : 40 m³
20 m³ x 27 days / 31 days = 17.40 m³ x RM 0.57 = RM 9.92
15 m³ x 27 days / 31 days = 13.05 m³ x RM 1.03 = RM 13.44
Remainder = 9.55 m³ x RM 2.00 = RM 19.10
TOTAL RM 42.46

Source: syabas

Commercial billing systems are different where they use a two band system.

Saving on Bills

Now that you understand how you are being charged for your water and electricity consumption, here are some tips and strategies to cut down your cost. First of all, make sure all electrical devices are running optimally and as efficiently as possible. How do you ensure this?

Check for flickering lights, unstable connections or heaters that take too long to heat up or cooling devices that take too long to cool down. Set aside a budget for aircon servicing. These units tend to use a huge amount of power if they are faulty. Make sure all your wiring connections are properly insulated and grounded to ensure no leakages. Consult your local electrician to help you get this done.

Last but not least, turn off appliances such as lights and fans when not in use because they can rack up quite a lot of units of usage over time, as well as increasing the wear and tear on the appliances. Make sure you turn off all non-essential appliances when you are leaving your homes for extended periods such as emptied refrigerators. Don’t turn off the filter for the fish tank though!

To reduce water consumption, make sure all leaks are properly plugged and pipes and hoses are intact. Washing machines tend to have leakages so consult your local plumber to seal everything up properly. Plumbing services will also make sure all your filters and shower as well as faucet systems are functioning optimally.

Finally, if you have performed any renovation on your home space, make sure the renovation contractors have not accidentally hit any piping or electrical lines. This could affect your bills.