PUTRAJAYA: From today, more people can qualify for the RM200 government rebate when they buy energy-efficient refrigerators. The Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry has decided to allow those with energy bills of between RM3 and RM285 per month to claim the RM200 rebate for refrigerators it rates as effi-cient.
Previously, only households in peninsular Malaysia with energy bills of between RM43.60 and RM117 per month could claim the rebate when buying new refrigerators. Consumers can also look forward to more choices for refrigerators under the rebate programme as the ministry is including more brands. Currently, it only covers 12 brands.
The ministry’s Sustainability Achieved via Energy Efficiency (SAVE) programme head Zaini Abdul Wahab said it was important to extend the eligibility for the rebates as Malaysia was now becoming a “dumping ground” for non-energy saving appliances.
“In the future, only products with a certain efficiency level will be able to enter our market. Many other countries are already doing this,” he said, adding that the Government wanted to regulate the market in terms of energy performance.
He said allowing more people to enjoy the rebates would also increase awareness among Malaysians on the importance of saving energy. Zaini said the original power usage range under the programme – between 200 and 400kWh per month – had been introduced to encourage middle-class households to buy energy-efficient appliances.
He said since the programme was launched on July 7, more than 17,000 customers had downloaded and printed the SAVE rebate coupons from its website at www.saveenergy.gov.my. “The response has been positive. Of those who printed coupons, 77% bough a five-star rated electrical appliance.
“The ministry will now open the offer to more households by expanding the qualifying range to 0-800kwh power usage per month, which means an energy bill of between RM3 to RM285,” said Zaini.
Under the programme, consumers can download the rebates of RM200 for refrigerators and RM100 for air-conditioners from the website. However, although the qualification for the RM100 rebate for air-conditioners is automatic, not every household in the peninsula can be eligible for the refrigerator rebate, unlike households in Sabah and Sarawak.
He said one reason that all households were automatically eligible for air-conditioner rebates was because the market in Malaysia was growing very quickly. “We feel that the rebates for refrigerators and air-conditioners are sufficient for now because these two are our biggest markets. We cannot afford to offer rebates for every appliance,” he said.
The rebate is one-off and the downloaded voucher is valid for only a certain period. Once it expires, consumers cannot download the voucher again. Consumers need only enter their Tenaga Nasional account number at the website to see if they qualify before they can download and print the voucher. Currently, 4,000 retail outlets are registered for the programmes.
SAVE has set aside RM41mil for the rebate programme for consumers including RM14.4mil for energy-efficient chillers for commercial users like shopping malls and hotels.