Asian utility gets court approval to disconnect energy thieves


Tenaga Nasional Berhad's logo Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — (METERING.COM) — November 20, 2006 – Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Malaysia largest energy utility with over 6 million customers, has been granted the right to disconnect customers without a court order if it suspects that energy theft is taking place at customers’ premises.

TNB had discovered that an electricity meter installed in a commercial customer’s premises had been tampered with, and called for an explanation. After negotiations, TNB asked for repayment of 30 per cent of the losses it had suffered since January 2001, but the customer challenged the amount.

Three years later TNB sent the customer a notice stating that it would disconnect electricity supply if the amount was not paid. After the customer appealed to the High Court, which found for TNB, the customer took the case to the Court of Appeal. The appeal was dismissed with costs, and the unanimous finding of the judges was that the Electricity Supply Act of 1990 made it unnecessary for an offence to be proven in court before TNB could cut off the supply of power to customers.