How To Set Up Utilities When Moving To Malaysia

How To Set Up Utilities When Moving To Malaysia

If you’re new to Malaysia and are getting confused in the process of ensuring your home has proper electricity supply, sewerage services, and water utilities all ready for the big move – this is the guide you need!
Water supply, Home utilities, How to get electricity, Electricity supply, How to get water, Home electricity, Home water supply, Home utility, Electricity company, Utility company, Electrical supply
Moving to a new country is an exciting adventure for anyone, and it’s even more exciting when the country you choose is Malaysia!

We’ve got everything an international expatriate might want, from the idyllic beaches of Terengganu through to the vibrant city lights of Kuala Lumpur.

If it’s food you’re after, then there’s no better place than Penang, and if it’s natural wonders you seek, then Sabah and Sarawak are ready to carry you away into a world of awe-inspiring jungle landscapes and stunning mountain scenery.

You might have guessed we’re kind of proud of Malaysia. But don’t worry – we’re happy to share!

There are a number of routes to gaining permanent residency in this amazing country we call home. That means access to many of the benefits of a Malaysian citizen, without the natural citizenship itself.

You’re probably wondering: how to sign up? Well there are five main ways of obtaining permanent residency in Malaysia:

Permanent Residency Route

Requirements

Investor status
  • USD2 million deposit in Malaysian bank
  • Sponsor
Expert status
  • Demonstrate high skills in valuable profession
  • Certificate of good conduct
  • Sponsor
Professional status
  • Professional with outstanding skills
  • Certified by relevant Malaysian agency
  • Recommendation
  • Certification of good conduct
  • 3 years work in respected Malaysian company or agency
  • Sponsor
Point-based systemEligibility based on:

  • Age
  • Qualification
  • Duration of stay in Malaysia
  • Familiarity with the Malaysia Institute
  • The values of investments
  • Working experience in Malaysia
  • Proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia
Spouse of Malaysian citizen
  • Be married to a Malaysian citizen
  • Already possess a Long Term Visit Pass
  • Have stayed continuously in Malaysia for a period of 5 years

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If you’re thinking about Malaysia as a place to call home, you might be asking what are the benefits of permanent residency? Here’s a list of the ones that matter most:

  1. Exemption from visa and immigration requirements to enter and exit the country
  2. Ability to reside in the country indefinitely
  3. Own and operate own business
  4. Seek employment without need for a work permit
  5. Access to public healthcare
  6. Easily visit all the awesome places we mentioned above

There’s also the Malaysian My Second Home (MM2H) programme, which is a Government-driven initiative introduced to promote Malaysia as an amazing place to live.

It offers a renewable ten-year maximum, multiple-entry visa for successful applicants from around the world.

If you’re looking for a great way to access all the joys of Malaysia, then this Government scheme is a fantastic place to start looking.

 

Understanding Malaysian utilities

Malaysia operates on a federal system, so there can be some notable differences between how states operate for various home utilities.

With that said, let’s do a quick summary of four key areas to understand, before we dive into the details:

1) Electricity supply

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Supplied by three major suppliers. The largest supplier is Tenaga Nasional Berhad, which covers the entire of Peninsular Malaysia.

Sarawak Electricity serves Sarawak, and Sabah Energy serves Sabah. The electricity company for your new property will depend on which of these areas you’ve chosen to live in.

Electricity Utility Company

Area of Operations

Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)Peninsular Malaysia
Sabah ElectricitySabah
Sarawak EnergySarawak

2) Sewerage services

In Malaysia, these vary a little more by state, although not by much, thanks to impressive consolidation by Indah Water Konsortium (IWK).

They are now responsible for sewerage infrastructure in all states apart from Kelantan, Sabah, and Sarawak, which are still operated by local authorities.

3) Water utilities

These operate on a far more diverse, state-by-state basis. Each state has its own water utility, with the exception of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and PutraJaya, which all fall under the largest water utility: Air Selangor.

Water in Malaysia is safe, and treated to a high quality in all major urban areas. However, it may be wise to boil the water before use in more remote rural areas.

Water supply, Home utilities, How to get electricity, Electricity supply, How to get water, Home electricity, Home water supply, Home utility, Electricity company, Utility company, Electrical supply

4) Gas supply

Still not widely available through a centralised pipe system in Malaysia. The majority of domestic gas use is from domestic propane cylinders.

Piped gas from Gas Malaysia is available, though in a limited number of areas in major urban centres of Peninsular Malaysia, such as parts of Kuala Lumpur. 

Residents in large apartment complexes or developments, called stratified properties in Malaysia, will often have utility bills charged by the central building management.

If you live in a standalone home such as a bungalow or terraced house, which is referred to as landed property in Malaysia, then the responsibility for organising and managing utilities is on you.

 

How to connect your gas supply in Malaysia

The easiest place to start is gas — because there’s not a huge amount of access to it anyway!

While projects are underway to widen access to piped gas in Malaysia, the current state of play is that the majority of gas appliances or needs are met by propane gas cylinders.

Propane generally comes in 10kg, 12kg, 14kg, or 50kg industrial cylinders. A good benchmark is that a propane gas cylinder will generally last around six months of standard household use.

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Prices vary between suppliers and unit sizes, but costs are around RM20-30 for the deposit, with RM30 to refill the container.

If you are one of the lucky ones to purchase a property in the right area of Peninsular Malaysia for piped gas, then Gas Malaysia will be the utility you are dealing with. The process for application is below.

1) For natural gas supply:

  • Only unit owners are allowed to register.
  • Complete and sign the Gas Supply Agreement form.
  • Prepare a deposit of RM20.00, connection fee of RM35.00, and meter fee of RM235.00 (applicable for certain locations only).
  • Cash accepted (payment counters only), cheque, or money order payable to GAS MALAYSIA BERHAD.
  • Stamp duty of RM10.00.
  • A copy of the applicant’s IC or passport.
  • If registered under a company, supporting documents from the Companies Commission of Malaysia are required.
  • A copy of the Sale & Purchase Agreement (front page, first page, schedule, and signature page are sufficient).

2) For liquefied petroleum gas supply:

  • Only unit owners are allowed to register.
  • Complete and sign the Gas Supply Agreement form for residential users.
  • Prepare a deposit of RM100.00, connection fee of RM35.00, and meter fee of RM235.00 (applicable for certain locations only).
  • Cash accepted (over the counter payments only), cheque, or money order made payable to GAS MALAYSIA BERHAD
  • Stamp duty of RM10.00.
  • A copy of the applicant’s IC or passport.
  • If registered under a company, supporting documents from the Companies Commission of Malaysia are required.
  • A copy of the Sale & Purchase Agreement (front page, first page, schedule 1, and signature page are sufficient).

 

How to connect your electricity supply in Malaysia

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Electricity in Malaysia is supplied by one of three companies, which means your home utility will depend on where you are resident.

Electricity Utility Company

Area of Operations

Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)Peninsular Malaysia
Sabah ElectricitySabah
Sarawak EnergySarawak

The process for application varies by utility, and you can find a comprehensive guide on how to get electricity in your home here.

In most cases as a newcomer to Malaysia, you’re going to be moving into a property that already has an established home electricity connection.

That means you’re probably just going to need to organise the transfer or reconnection of that established electrical supply.

  • TNB covers Peninsular Malaysia, and charges a deposit of between RM170 and RM1,600 depending on the property type. Apply for your electricity supply in Peninsular Malaysia online here.
  • Sabah Energy covers Sabah, and charges a deposit of between RM50 and RM1,500. Apply for your electricity supply in Sabah online here.
  • Sarawak Electricity covers Sarawak, and charges a deposit of between RM80 and RM4,800. Apply for an electricity connection in Sarawak here.

You will require some standard documents to ensure connection can be completed:

  • Application form
  • Proof of ID
  • Registered Sales & Purchase Agreement / Land Title / Tenancy Agreement / Offer Letter or Memorandum of Transfer (wherever applicable)
  • Business registration document (if registered under a company name)
  • Company stamp (if registered under a company name)

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If your property is not currently connected to the local electricity infrastructure, you will be required to have an engineer assess the household wiring, and apply for a new connection. Costs and process vary by provider.

One important thing to know about utility costs and property in Malaysia is the strange case of serviced apartments.

Malaysia is home to thousands of amazing serviced apartments to buy and rent. Because these apartment types are officially categorised as commercial property, the utility prices are more expensive than for standard residential properties.

The true cost will vary by property and region, based on the voltage of your connection and overall consumption, but here’s a quick example to explain.

Comparing electricity tariffs with TNB, Malaysia’s largest electricity utility, shows the potential differences between these charges.

TNB Residential Tariff Costs (as of June 2020)

Monthly Usage

Cost (sen/kWh)

For the first 200 kWh (1 – 200 kWh)21.80
For the next 100 kWh (201 – 300 kWh)33.40
For the next 300 kWh (301 – 600 kWh)51.60
For the next 300 kWh (601 – 900 kWh)54.60
For the next kWh (901 kWh onwards)57.10
Minimum monthly chargeFlat RM3.00

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TNB Low Voltage Commercial Tariff Costs (as of June 2020)

Monthly Usage

Cost (sen/kWh)

For the first 200 kWh (1 -200 kWh)43.5
For the next kWh (201 kWh onwards)50.9
Minimum monthly chargeFlat RM7.20

There is scope for individual submission to re-categorise a property from commercial to residential on a case-by-case basis, but there is no guarantee such submissions will be successful.

 

How to connect your water supply in Malaysia

Water supply is the most state-by-state utility in Malaysia. Each state (for the most part) has their own dedicated water supply utility, which means how to get water can vary depending on where you live.

You can compare the latest rates by region on the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) website.

Water Utility Company

Area of Operation

Air Selangor (formerly SYABAS)
  • Selangor
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • PutraJaya
Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang (PBAPP)Penang
Pengurusan Air Pahang Berhad (PAIP)Pahang
SAJ RanhillJohor
Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan (SAINS)Negeri Sembilan
Syarikat Air Melaka Berhad (SAMB)Melaka
Syarikat Air Darulaman (SADA)Kedah
Air KelantanKelantan
Lembaga Air PerakPerak
Syarikat Air PerlisPerlis
Syarikat Air Terengganu (SATU)Terengganu
Jabatan Air Negeri SabahSabah
Kuching Water BoardSarawak

Find out more about connecting your water supply in Malaysia with our comprehensive guide to connecting utilities here. Generally speaking you will require:

  • Proof of ID
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of rental/ownership
  • Revenue stamp

Once again, the question of commercial vs. residential property is worth pointing out. Serviced apartments in Malaysia will fall under commercial property rules. That means water supplies will be charged at commercial rates.

The minimum water tariff with Air Selangor for domestic use is RM6, compared to RM36 for commercial use. Unlike with electricity, there is no established route towards changing that designation.

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