Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Electricity Tariff: Another Revision?

The title of this entry is not a question. It is an expression of disbelief and in some way in amusement at how the powers that be deal with one of our basic necessities in the modern day. 

Firstly, the far-reaching hands and mighty government of the day must take good care of the welfare of the people to ensure good quality of life. Secondly, for an oil and gas producing country such as Malaysia, it is obligatory for the  government to provide for a reliable and affordable supply of electricity to the people.

Not my saying. I was trying to put myself in the shoes of those opposing "resiliently" the idea of power tariff increase.

I am NOT against the idea of increasing the rate. If done the right way, and I'm not going to elaborate what is that right way, I am all for it. All for it? That sounds a bit on the extreme but what I'm saying is that I will agree to a properly drafted revision, that's all. I am a consumer just like all of you and I don't want another hole in my already shallow pocket. But why not? All good things like cheap stuffs will come to an end someday. So is our cheap electricity.

If you google  enough you will find that Malaysia's power cost is one of the lowest in South East Asia and Sabah's SESB electricity tariff is still low compared to Sarawak's SESCO and Peninsula Malaysia's TNB. SESB rates are however less interesting as it lacks the peak hour variaty and industrial sector has less 'optimazation' options. You can compare electricity tariff of ASEAN member countries in what Beni Suryadi compiled here.

Let's take a look at the current tariff in Sabah (since 25 years ago):

Source: SESB

Sarawak's SESCO tariff effective April 2007:

 Source: SESCO website.

West Malaysia Domestic tariff. Source: TNB

For industrial, commercial and others, visit TNB Industrial Tariff here.

TNB have just announced its tariff restructuring and SESCO did it in 2007, while SESB's last revision was about 25 years ago. To be fair to SESB based on the timeline alone, I'd say review is overdue.

However, while setting their eyes on the imminent, SESB must:

1. Not equate low tariff to unreliable supply. They are not the same although we hear poorly-advised leaders claiming so.

2. Translate low SAIDI to real life elimination reduction of power supply interruptions. I can give monthly data for power interruptions of several West Coast city/townships in Sabah if required and I'm not at all impressed. Three to four power failures in a month is not uncommon and this rate would drive some people nuts if it happens to TNB facilities.

3. Beef up its power theft eradication Task Force. Do you know that SESB is losing some RM3mil in revenue due to power theft? Some one can set up a SME entity and work around this figure to provide SESB with solution, in my humble opinion.

4. Be transparent. On how SESB manage itself is none of my business. What I hear on a daily dosage is complaints and all sort of allegations (both baseless and those with facts) by certain quarters. So, do what you need to do and what needs to be done. You do have a lot of wise heads in your organisation.

Talking about SAIDI (average power outage/blackout duration for each customer), TNB's record for the last two years was around 70 minutes. Our neighbour, Singapore records an average of 2 minutes (check it out Here and scroll to page 19) per customer. SESB recorded 867.4 minutes per customer last year. That's ten times of what was recorded in Peninsula Malaysia. Compare that with those of Singapore's!

Are you happy with what you see? Are you happy with the frequency of power outage in Sabah? I am not.

Again, don't equate LOW TARIFF to UNRELIABLE power supply. Of course, having more money will solve many supply issues but I can't see it as the sole justification for increasing the power cost. It is how efficient you manage the resources that matter.

Finger crossed SESB will come good.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It pays to go Green

Do you have electricity supply at your area? If yes, chances are you have some air-conditioners and fridges at home, or at least any of these two. If that is the case, the next piece of information might be of interest to you.

According to Bernama, the consumers can expect to get some kind of rebates for the purchase of high efficiency refrigerators, air-conditioners and chillers.

It is a Government initiative to encourage the use of energy-efficient appliances and to improve energy efficiency in Malaysia. Qualified consumers get a rebate of RM200 for new refrigerator and RM100 for an air-cond. It is said to cost the Government more than RM50 mil. in 2011, so I recon it will be going on for some time.

Energy-efficient household items are substantially more expensive - 30% to 50% more - but the rebates and the electricity consumed  could well justify purchase of such appliances.

The financial benefit can be realised (or ROI if you like) within two to four years depending on the level of efficiency of the item concerned. It mentioned qualified  in the press release but did not elaborate on the criteria for an item, or a consumer to be deemed qualified. My guess is that the Government will come out with the details in July 2011 when it announce the rebate for chillers in the commercial sector.

Let support the initiative and help mother earth avoid a little carbon emission. At the some time helping ourselves patching some small holes in our pockets. Our family currently uses nominal efficiency (non energy-efficient) air-conditioners and refrigerators but would seriously consider the high efficiency variants when the current ones are due for replacement.

Source: Up to RM200 rebates for energy-efficient appliances

Wildlife watching

Destination  : Hutan a.k.a jungle
Mission       : Meliat-liat munyit dan mengasi halau kuyuk yang mungkin
                     menyalak munyit.
Location     : Taman hidupan liar lok kawi.

Come, visit My Photoblog or click the pic below to see more munyit.

white monkey800x300

p/s: White munyitis from elswhere. Kindly take note that you will not find him at our destination (this jungle).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Renewable, or Is It?

Renewable energy is a term used to describe a source of energy that has the capacity to replenish itself; it's the kind of energy that can be used over and over again, and it will never run out. I am a green technology enthusiast and renewable energy is one of the areas that I am passionate about.

What others interprate as renewable and evergreen gives new dimension to what I've understood all this while. The interpretation is so dynamic, a green mechanic may struggle to associate things to his circumstances. Let me give an example:

Few days ago The Jakarta Post reported the following:

JAKARTA: The controversial dang-dut singer  Dewi Persik feels like
a brand  new  woman.  She has just  had  hymenoplasty, or surgical
restoration of the hymen, popularly known as virginity surgery.

The 25-year-old told recently  that she had undergone
the surgery after going on a pilgrimage.

“I may  be a divorcée,  but physically I am still a virgin,”  the two-time
divorcée said proudly.

Dewi added she went through with the surgery because she did not
want to disappoint her future husband. The procedure took place in
Egypt, she said. The singer is currently single after breaking up with
her boyfriend, actr Nicky Tirta. She divorced her previous husbands,
singer Saiful Jamil and actor Aldiansyah Taher. - JP

Just wondering what others think about that.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sea of flowers

This will jump you to the full story about flowers I've photographed for the last year or two.

sea of lillies

Water lilies at Tg. Aru second beach

For more shots of flowers, please visit this page.

Thank you.

Friday, June 10, 2011

More carrots for you to Go Green

[News clipping from Daily Express, 8th June 2011]
You read that correct, it's more carrots and less sticks for you to go green.

In case you missed this piece of news, in brief, it talks about the government's plan to enable you to get financing so that you can generate extra income through installation of solar PV at home.

In summary:

Standard houses require average : 3kWp to 4kWp
Cost of solar power per kWp       : RM15,000
Thus, each house need about     : RM45,000 to RM60,000

It did not give further details but from my conversation with a couple of industry players, one can get up to 90% financing, which means down payment of only RM4,500 to RM6,000. Furthermore, the cost per kWp of solar PV is decreasing rapidly in tandem with technological advancement. In fact, according to one system integrator, as of today (June 2011) the cost per kWp is already down to RM14,000.

Implementation may not be that fast as application will only be open to the public in 3Q and possibly implemented in 4Q of this year.

I mentioned 'less stick' earlier on, let me explain. Application to install solar PV at home is on quota and first-come-first-served basis. Let's assume you successfully get the allocated power aggregate for this year's implementation. Terms and Conditions states that you MUST install your system this year as indicated in the agreement. In case you decide not to install, you will not get 'caned', you merely pass the opportunity to someone else.

If you decide to 'pass' this opportunity to someone else, you've missed on the opportunity to generate extra income while sitting doing essentially nothing.

If you feel like reading, view the full story here by Bernama.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Split Decision

I am not talking about jury's decision of any kind.

It's about my decision to separate my hunger for 'green' and my passion for photography that lead to my setting up of another blog. That's specifically for my expensive hobby - photography. I have to split the two, that is.

If you have the time please visit my photography page at JDfloyd-pictures. Thanks.

sunset in bnw

Please read/view here for the full story.

Till then, happy shooting and let's enjoy our hobby.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


The most anticipated peak to the harvest festival celebration is the crowning of the festival queen, known as Unduk Ngadau in the Kadazandusun language. I will not elaborate on its significance but if you have the time you can find further readings on Unduk Ngadau here.

Bo Tiza600x800
Unduk Ngadau 2011: Miss Bo Tiza A. Disimon. She's said to have received prizes totalling not less than RM38,000.00

The final of the 2011 Unduk Ngadau pageant was held as follows:

Date : 31 May 2011
Venue: Hongkod Koisaan KDCA, Penampang, Sabah
Time : 12.00 noon - 4.30pm

Enjoy some of the many pics captured during the final. Please ask for permission should you like to use any of them in your online or writings and or publications.

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The seven vying for the seat currently occupied by Miss Crystal Eve Huminodun.

Seven Winners800
The seven unduk ngadau's waiting anxiously for the winners announcement.

4th place 600x800
One UN after another left the group, to be considered unlucky this time around.
Here, Miss Sophie Angela Kutam of Ranau in the 4th place proceed to receive her trophy from Her Majesty the wife of Sabah TYT.

top three560x750 frame
Then it was down to the three of them.

constantine teasing800
"Constant, cukup-cukup lah bah ko kasi tambah nervous dia orang tu.."
Constantine (teasing Bo Tiza and Jovenea) and Lalita (not in the pic) were the masters of ceremony that day.

1st runner up 600x800
1st Runner Up: Miss Jovenea Jim Lajim (Tamparuli)

2nd runner up 600x800
2nd Runner Up: Miss Caroline Anthony (Tuaran)

winners 1 2 3-800 frame
Unduk Ngadau, Miss Bo Tiza Disimon of Penampang is flanked by Miss Jovenea Jim Lajim of Tamparuli (left) and Miss Caroline Anthony of Tuaran (right).


winners with 7 - 800
The 7 recepients of the main prizes:
1st Runner Up: Jovenea Jim Lajim (Tamparuli)
2nd Runner Up: Caroline Anthony (Tuaran)
4th Place: Sophie Angela Kutam (Ranau)
5th Place: Rachel M. Alliun (Kota Kinabalu)
6th Place: Alvera Raymond Kisil (Sandakan)
7th Place: Adeline Joyce Masidah (Likas)

And...last but not the least,
Crystal Eve569x750 wmark
Not forgetting Miss Crystal Eve Huminodun the reigning 2010 Unduk Ngadau. Today is the final day of official duties for her.

Congratulation to all the winners & Kotobian tadau tagayo do Kaamatan.

Note: I'm not a professional photographer meaning I don't make money out of photography and I know these images aren't as great but they are copyrighted and under no circumstances should they be used or caused to be used without prior and informed consent from me, the rightful owner.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

FIT - Critical Success Factors

The above illustrates the premium rate paid by the utility company for each unit of energy produced by your home Solar PV. This is the case for solar photovoltaic; there are three other renewable energy sources that enjoy the feed-in tariff (FiT) under the newly passed Renewal Energy Act, namely small hydro, biomass and biogas. For a complete guideline of the different rate, refer to the Feed-in Tariff Update by KeTTHA.

With this attractive FiT rate, the government hopes to solve the slow implementation and take up of renewable energy generation in the country. Remember how many signed up for the Suria 1000 incentive that the government mooted not too long ago? Only a handful.

Will the FiT for RE suffers the same fate as Suria 1000? Yes and No, but before we tick any of the two answers there are several critical factors that need to be closely monitored and or adhered to:

1. Feed-in tariff rates need to be high enough to produce ROI. Put in some carrot in the form of profit to woo takers. Where there is opportunity/profit there is risk worth taken.

2. "High enough" is not attractive if it is not coupled with a "long enough" period to make business sense. The RE Act provide for 21 years. I think that's long enough for any business venture.

3. Ready buyers. No worries there; TNB, SESB and SESCO are obliged to purchase all electricity generated.

4. Fund to finance FiT cost. I think it is the responsibility of everyone to make RE energy a success, and what a better way to take part than to contribute through your utility bills. Yes, we are expected to pay higher electricity tariff in a near future - maybe not all of us - and the extra money we pay to the utility companies can be used to finance the FiT cost.

5. Clear procedure on local approval. Not like the process you have to go through land applications in Sabah.

6. Transparency in implementation such as involvement of only competent persons, constant monitoring, periodical reporting of progress, etc. We do not want to see sudden mushrooming of Jacks and Joe's who know little about things but get the upper hands on what to implement.

7. Calculated degression. Degression means gradual decrease in the FiT rates until they come to parity with the prevailing electricity tariff. This way people are forced to improve such technology to lower the manufacturing cost. For solar PV, degression rate is 8%, a bit steep in my opinion but let's take this as a challenge and beat that figure with even cheaper solar panels!

8. There is an old Malay saying "Ukur baju di badan sendiri". We know the RE Act was adopted from what has been in practice by several Western countries. What we need is to carefully customise it to Malaysian context. A u-turn of decision after a couple of years down the line would not look impressive to say the least.

Let's hope the premium FiT rates spurs us on to achieve the country's goal to lower carbon emission, starting this 3rd Q of  2011. Fingers crossed we do not have to go through the 'brilliant' u-turn decisions on Teaching Maths & Science in English. No, the FiT has nothing to do with that.