Working with the Community on Energy Efficiency at Household Level in Petaling Jaya

An 12-Month Awareness and Result Monitoring Project funded by ExxonMobil Malaysia

WCPJ Project

[ Background | Objectives | Methodology | Forms and Materials
| Comments from Participants | Results | Diary of Events ]


WCPJ is designed as a follow through of the ABC Project.

The ABC Project had been able to establish a baseline for energy consumption for urban households in Malaysia which came from Energy Audits (EA) which were compiled from 10 towns from throughout the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.

Energy consumption pattern from ABC project

Although this was in itself a ground breaking achievement, it was strongly felt that the quality of data collected could be improved if there was a way to verify the accuracy of the data.


Petaling Jaya had been selected for this pilot project for very good reasons.

Petaling Jaya is a mature township whose residents are generally well informed and it has an established network of Residents Associations and other civic groups. There already exists a friendly working relationship and ongoing collaboration between CETDEM and the Local Authority through their Local Agenda 21 office. Furthermore, CETDEM’s office is located in Petaling Jaya!

Click to enlarge PJ map

A select group of 50-60 participants are to be exposed to issues relating to energy usage in the home. Energy Efficiency (EE) is highlighted to participants to sensitise them on the importance of being efficient users of energy. The project team provides guidance and follow-up services, free of charge, throughout the project study period (April-November 2006).


The objectives of WCPJ are to:

a. collect data on the energy consumption patterns of urban Malaysian households via Energy Audits;
b. teach participating households on the benefits of Energy Efficiency;
c. collect data on changes of energy consumption based on actions taken after the baseline Energy Audit.

As mentioned earlier, the ABC project had succeeded in collecting some data of urban Malaysian households, however, there was no mechanism for checking the accuracy of the data. By deploying a full-time project staff, CETDEM hoped to get better quality of data. The follow-up sessions would also allow collection of data which would reflect changes in energy consumption for participating households.


1. Recruitment of participants

1.1 Engaging the Community of Petaling Jaya

The fundamental approach of this project was to work with the Local Authority and the Residents Associations of Petaling Jaya to identify (and recruit) 50 households willing to participate in the project.

1.2 Reaching out beyond the Residents Associations

The initial approach of going through RAs to recruit participants for the project did not receive the response that we had hoped for. To supplement the number of participants sourced from RAs, the Project Team approached personal contacts living in the Petaling Jaya area and also asked existing participants to encourage their friends to sign-up and join.

2. Data Collection

An Energy Audit (EA) was carried out by each household to establish an energy consumption baseline. The EA becomes the basis for future performance comparisons.

There were 4 Stages in Data Collection exercise:

Stage 1a: Auditing the home

The Energy Audit exercise covered Fuel, Electricity and Gas usage by the household. The Project Coordinator provided assistance in terms of helping participants identifying the power consumption (Wattage) of electrical equipment.

Attempts were made, so that as much as possible, the Project Coordinator would meet with participants in the convenience of their home. The purpose of having an on site visit was to facilitate a quick and convenient check of appliance power consumption as the audit took place.

An interactive-CD on Energy Efficiency was given to each household as a token of appreciation for the return of the completed Energy Audit Form.

Stage 1b: Reviewing the Usage

Each participating household was asked to review their energy usage and come up with energy saving strategies which suited their individual needs and abilities. These strategies were further separated between Zero Cost Actions and Actions Incurring Some Costs.

Stage 2: Zero Cost Actions

Zero Cost Actions are actions that do not incur any expense on the part of the participant. These are habit/lifestyle changes which reduce wastage of energy.

Stage 3: Action Incurring Some Cost

Some of the actions taken by the participants did indeed incur some expense. This would be in terms of maintaining / servicing, or replacing faulty or energy inefficient equipment.

Stage 4: Overall Project Feedback

In Section 1, participants were requested to grade the project brochures, meetings, support and tokens/gifts involved in the project. The grading for this section generally leaned towards Above Average and Excellent.

In Section 2, participants were required to write on their experience and offer suggestions. Many of them wrote about becoming conscious of the importance of being efficient users of energy by reducing energy wastage. A majority of participants have indicated their keenness to continue participating in the project for another year. From among these, most of them stated that they would opt for lifestyle changes. Those who were not inclined to continue cited reasons such as heavy work commitment, travelling, shifting out of PJ and furthering their studies overseas.

Forms and Materials

Project Information Brochure.

Memorandum of Understanding.

Energy Audit Form.

Zero Cost Actions Form.

Actions Incurring Some Cost.

Project Feedback Form.

Comments from Participants

After the increase in Electricity Tariff Rates

A rather interesting development during the course of implementing Zero Cost Actions was the implementation of a revised structure of Electricity Tariff Rates by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) on the 1st of June 2006. TNB household-based customers who consumed not more than 200 kWh a month were not affected by the tariff hike. However, those consuming more than 200 kWh a month would see their monthly electricity bills rise by 8-12%.

S.S. Cho, PJS 5
8th June 2006 – Just completed the ‘zero cost actions’ form. My average monthly bill for electricity is RM307/1211 kWh as per your audit, right? My latest bill dated 7/6/06 shows electricity usage at 1182 kWh and RM 309.21. Energy saved is 29 kWh but with the new rates ….

Rohayatimah, Section 14
12th June 2006 – regarding my zero cost actions, I no longer use the electric rice cooker. However the effort is probably going down the drain with the increase in tariff rates!

After implementing and monitoring Zero Cost Actions

Evelyn, Section 20
16th June 2006 – I am pleased to say that my electricity bill for last month has decreased a little, to about RM175, compared to RM190-RM200++ in previous months.

Celine, SS7
12th July 2006 – After the energy audit exercise, I put into practice some of the advice given and I was able to reduce my electricity bill by a fraction. Still, I was encouraged by this and have taken further steps. I was pleasantly surprised to find that if I kept my front door closed, as advised by Anthony, my house was cooler. My teenage daughter too felt the difference. So now, we make sure the doors remain close. Hence the sitting area is much cooler and we don`t need to switch on the fan.

I have organised my ironing in such a way that now, instead of ironing two or three times a week, I iron once a week which takes an hour or so. I no longer watch TV when ironing (to kill the boredom). Instead, I put on earplugs and listen to my battery charged walkman. Leaving equipments on standby mode became a habit until I took part in this exercise. Now both my daughter and I are making a conscious effort to break this habit. We remind each other to switch off completely. We try our best not to switch on lights unless it is necessary. The same goes for the fans. I hope to see a bigger reduction in my next bill, streamyx willing.


A total of 56 application forms were received, of which 52 signed the MoU with CETDEM. 2 participants withdrew after signing the MoU due to heavy work commitments.

Click to enlarge: Participants Information

After much persistence (on the part of the Project Team) and cooperation (from among the participants), the target of 50 households was achieved.

Energy Consumption Patterns

Click to enlarge: Average Energy Consumption Breakdown

Click to enlarge: Average Energy Consumption Breakdown

Click to enlarge: Average Electricity Consumption Breakdown

Click to enlarge: Average Energy Consumption Breakdown

Click to enlarge: Average Electricity Consumption Breakdown

Reduction of 3,155.71 kg of CO2 as a result of the Zero Cost Actions instituted by the participants.

Increase of 408.23 kg of CO2 during the Action Incurring Some Cost, mainly due to an increase in the consumption of electricity attributed to the fasting month, as well as the Deepavali and Hari Raya Puasa celebrations.

Total monthly CO2 reduction of 2,750 kg which is equivalent to 2,750 kWh saved or 1,100 litres of petrol uncombusted.

Diary of Events

Date Event
16 Jan 2006 Project Begins
23 Jan Project Team meets with ExxonMobil represetatives at Menara ExxonMobil, Kuala Lumpur
26 Feb Briefing for Residents Associations from around Petaling Jaya is held at Bilik Syarahan, Dewan Sivik MPPJ. 20 persons attended representing 13 Residents Associations and 1 Rukun Tetangga sector

Networking after the briefing
26 March Signing Ceremony and Official Launch is held at Petaling Jaya Hilton. 21 participants signed MoU, 10 media representives and 10 guests were present. Dato’ Ahmad Termizi (Yang DiPertua MPPJ) officially launched the project. Ir Gurmit Singh, En Mokhtar Daud (ExxonMobil), Dr Martin Abraham (GEF/SPG) and Dato’ Ahmad Termizi attended the Media Conference held at the end of the event.

Registration of participants

En Mokhtar Daud (extreme right) handing over a mock cheque to
Ir Gurmit Singh (extreme left), as Dr Martin (2nd left) and
Dato’ Ahmad Termizi (3rd left) look on
30 March First completed Energy Audit is received (PJS 5 participant);
First home visit is conducted (Section 21 participant)
31 March 25th MoU is signed
3 April Met with Section 8 Group
7 April Met with Section 5 Group
8 April Met with Kampung Cempaka Group
18 April 40th MoU is signed. Met with Universiti Malaya Group
20 April Interview by Hilary Chiew, The STAR
27 April 10th Energy Audit Form is received
29 April Met with PJU1 RT members
2 May Write-up on WCPJ Project appears in The STAR
10 May 25th Energy Audit Form is received
15 May Met with Kampung Cempaka group
23 May Met with The STAR group
26 May 40th Energy Audit Form is received
1 June 50th MoU is signed
24 June ABC / WCPJ Energy Usage Assessment Meeting is held at Eastin Hotel, Petaling Jaya. Participants of WCPJ were invited. 20 attendees representing 17 participating households. Dr Martin Abraham (GEF/SPG) delivered an insightful speech. Presentations on ABC and WCPJ energy usage findings, followed by small group workshop and presentation.

Small group workshop / discussion
1 August 50th Energy Audit form is received
5 Sept 1st Actions Incurring Some Cost Form is received
19 Sept 1st Overall Project Feedback Form is received
17 Nov 50th and final Zero Cost Actions Form is received
18 Nov Meeting with the Mayor of Petaling Jaya is held at the MBPJ Head Office.

PJ Mayor handing over electronic timers to WCPJ participants

PJ Mayor sharing a light moment with WCPJ participants

48th and last Actions Incurring Some Cost Form is received.
47th and last Overall Project Feedback Form is received.

30 Nov 4th Quarterly Report & Final Report submitted to ExxonMobil
15 Dec Media Conference followed by Official Closing at Hotel Armada
31 Dec 2006 WCPJ Project officially ends

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