When applying for electrical, gas and water supply you will need to supply an Identity Card (permanent residents and Malaysian citizens) or your foreign passport number. Specific procedures vary between companies but generally non-permanent residents will be required to pay a substantial deposit and/or provide details of a Malaysian sponsor with the application.
Electricity suppliers in Malaysia serve different areas of the country – Peninsular Malaysia is distributed by Tenaga Nasional; Sabah is distributed by Sabah Electricity; and Sarawak by Syarikat Sesco. The electricity supply in Malaysia is very good. However, be prepared for occasional power cuts.
The voltage in Malaysia is 240v with a frequency of 50 hertz. In rural areas it can sometimes alternate between 220v and 240v. Malaysia uses the three-pin plugs, similar to the UK. Appliances sometimes come with two-pin plugs, either round or square, but adapters are easily available.
If you are residing in Kuala Lumpur, Tenaga Nasional supplies electricity to both business and residential customers. In most rental situations, the tenant is responsible for paying electricity bills, although the account remains in the landlord’s name. However, in serviced apartment rentals, utilities are often included in the rent. There will be a clause in your lease explaining your obligations and the landlord will take a specific deposit, which is usually half a month’s rent, to offset against any bills left unpaid when you leave.
Electricity bills are received by post and can be paid at a post office or in the office of the electricity supplier. Electricity bills can be very high, especially if you use your air conditioning a lot. Minimise your bills by keeping air-conditioning units well maintained and switching them off when you’re not in the room. Ceiling fans are very popular and effective; they are cheap and easily installed by an electrician.
Do check the Kedai Tenaga section at www.tnb.com.my for any inquiries.
Water utilities in Malaysia are managed and overseen by individual state water authorities. You will be charged for your water usage, and billed either direct from the water company or by the management of your apartment complex. Water services in KL, Selangor and Putrajaya are provided by Syabas.
Water bills are pretty reasonable, usually under RM50 per month and often much less. As with electricity, the account will usually remain in the landlord’s name although the tenant pays the bills. If you do need to reconnect your water supply, contact Syabas at 1-800-885-252 for further inquiries. If there is a planned disruption to your supply, you will usually be notified by letter.
Tap water is safe to drink in major towns or cities. Most Malaysians in towns and villages have a habit of boiling their drinking water. Mineral or bottled water is available everywhere. Alternatively, you can install a filter for your household water supply.
Piped gas is only available in Kuala Lumpur and some major towns of peninsular Malaysia and is supplied by Gas Malaysia (www.gasmalaysia.com). Go to the website for information on which areas are covered by the service and details of the application procedure for supply. If there is piped gas in your home, you will have to pay an RM35 connection fee and RM60 deposit. The quarterly bills for piped gas are cheap – about RM10 to RM20 per quarter.
Elsewhere gas canister is the norm. Containing LPG (liquid petroleum gas) either under your kitchen counter or outside the kitchen, these are easy to obtain, and your supplier will deliver them to your home. Depending on how much you cook, a gas canister generally lasts till about five to six months but it is advisable to keep a spare one. Major gas suppliers include Shell Gas, Petronas and BHP. If there isn’t a canister already in the kitchen when you move in, ask your neighbours, management office if you live in a condominium or your nearest petrol station to find out who delivers in your area.