Penang water tariffs to double from Feb 1

Property News/ 19 January 2024 Leave a comment


Water tariff rates for domestic users in Penang will double from Feb 1, chief minister Chow Kon Yeow announced on Wednesday.

Accounts that use zero to 20 cubic metres a month will be charged 50 sen per cubic metre, compared with 22 sen now.

Meanwhile, those who use 20 to 35 cubic metres a month will be charged RM1.10 per cubic metre and those using more than 35 cubic metres will need to pay RM2 per cubic metre, compared with the current rate of 46 sen and 68 sen, respectively.

This follows the National Water Services Commission’s (SPAN) announcement that water tariffs for domestic users in the peninsula and Labuan will be raised by an average of 22 sen per cubic metre.

Penang is the first state to announce new rates.

The Penang government has prepared two rebate schemes, one for B40 households comprising at least eight people, and another for hardcore poor households with a maximum household income of RM1,035 a month.

Executive councillor Zairil Khir Johari said RM10 in monthly discounts would be provided to these households under both schemes.

Hardcore poor households will not have to apply for the rebate since their details are in the e-Kasih welfare system, but eligible B40 families may apply for the other scheme at the Penang Water Supply Corporation’s (PBAPP) offices.

Zairil said this was more targeted and that past rebate schemes could be accessed even by rich households comprising a minimum of eight people.

Meanwhile, Chow said maintaining the tariff rate for domestic users for the past 31 years had affected the PBAPP’s revenue.

He added that the water company’s revenue was crucial to ensure it could operate smoothly while building new water infrastructure and maintaining existing ones.

“We can’t expect to maintain the (previous) tariff rate forever. A stagnant tariff rate means we won’t have funds to carry out these projects,” added Chow.

While PBAPP expects to earn RM86 million in revenue a year with the higher tariffs, Chow said the corporation would still have to fork out about RM78 million in subsidies annually.

He maintained that it was the “most suitable and opportune” time to raise the tariffs, saying the four-day scheduled water cuts last week showed there was a need to upgrade existing infrastructure.

Source: FMT Online

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