Salam and a very good day everyone! How are you doing so far in the first month of 2014? I hope that every one of you can cope well with the change of climate happening in our world right now. Sadly, I believe that unexpected occurrences such as natural disasters recently were major signs from Mother Nature that we need to change our habits and lifestyle that contributed to so many incidences. Perhaps the littlest change that we can provide to the surrounding will ensure a better environment to the earth’s citizen. This can be simply done if we can create the awareness about the public regarding our current lifestyle and energy consumption.
To research deeper on public’s conception of energy efficiency, I managed to interview some of my friends about their lifestyles and routines at home, in college or at work. Mind you that these people are ranging from 20-25 years old respondents studying or working in Kuala Lumpur. Amirul, a 23 years old Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) student said that he knows about the basics of renewable energy sources such as solar energy and hydropower based on the knowledge gained in school. He also recycles his garbage every once in a while and practices energy efficiency effort at his home. Amirul rents a double-storey house in Serdang Selangor with 14 other students and they have been staying there for almost two years.
|Amirul Syahmee, 23 years old.|
When asked about the electricity bill at their house, Amirul said that he is aware of the 1% additional charge to the Renewable Energy Fund because the house’s energy consumption exceeds RM 77 or 300 kWh every month. Amirul gets really concerned with the matter so he explained that he always reminded his housemates to save energy. Among the steps taken by the boys at the house are:
-Turning off the fans and light when not in use,
-Operating the washing machine only with full load,
-Using energy efficient refrigerator and washing machine and
-Carpooling to classes with classmates.
|An example of a house they rented.|
It is interesting to learn that the boys are willing to change their habits and support energy efficiency effort in the house. Now let us read what Najeha, 24 years old from Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Bahasa Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur has to say. Najeha is very lucky because the monthly bill at her house in Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan has never exceeded RM 77, therefore her household is not contributing to the Renewable Energy Fund administered by SEDA Malaysia. This is due to the fact that she practices energy efficiency measures at her home with her parents and siblings.
|Noor Najeha, 24 years old.|
She rarely turns on the air-conditioner inside her room because she prefers to use the fan instead. As a trainee teacher at a primary school in Kuala Lumpur, she always advised her students to save energy in the classroom. She will always remind her students to turn off the fan when they are leaving the classroom because they need to be educated from young. These are the simple steps taken by Najeha in order to promote energy efficiency awareness among her students and she hopes that they will continue the good habit forever.
Let us connect energy efficiency awareness with renewable energy sector in Malaysia because both can contribute in “greening” and “cooling down” the earth. In 2011, Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia is formed under the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Act 2011 [Act 726] and SEDA Malaysia becomes the implementer of the Feed-in Tariff program for the development of renewable energy effort in Malaysia. Malaysia’s Feed-in Tariff system requires the Distribution Licensees (DLs) such as Tenaga Nasional Berhad to buy from renewable energy producers the electricity produced by them. FiT rates are set by SEDA Malaysia with approval from KeTTHA to pay for the renewable energy supplied to the electricity grid for a specific duration. By having access to the grid and setting a favorable price per unit of renewable energy, the FiT mechanism also ensures that renewable energy becomes a viable and sound long-term investment for companies industries and individuals. This can happen very easily if consumers are registered under SEDA Malaysia as one of the producers of renewable energy through solar panels, small hydro power, biomass and biogas at their homes or private lands.
The Cabinet has also agreed for the 1% surcharge on consumers’ electricity bills that has been gazetted and collected from consumers. This 1% surcharge is needed to achieve the target capacity of renewable energy in the long run. As of 2013, 1% surcharge is still imposed on all electricity customers and domestic electricity consumers are obliged to contribute to the surcharge only if their monthly electricity consumption exceeds 300 kWh or RM 77 a month. This money is channelled into the Renewable Energy Fund and administered by SEDA Malaysia to pay the premium Feed-in Tariff rate to those producers who generate electricity at homes or in industrial companies. But as of January 2014, this tariff will increase by 0.6% to be 1.6 % for current electricity users. This increase will also affect the consumers in Sabah and Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan as they are charged with 1.6% of their electricity bills for the first time. Please refer to www.seda.gov.my for more information.
Alright, now I would like to propose a challenge for all of you. Let us kick-start February with simple steps to use energy efficiently. I have provided all of you with some steps and now it is the time for you to put that all in practice. It does not take so much of your time and perhaps not burdening at all if you managed to start saving the energy. Remember that the energy that we are using is not cheap and that is why we need to start using energy efficiently right now. Take care and God bless; help us spread the word to green and cool the earth!