Supply for PLN’s big customers limited

Big customers of state power firm PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) will pay more for their electricity if they use more than 50 percent of the average national power consumption rate.

PLN said customers that had a power supply capacity of 6,600 and 10,500 volt amperes would pay the market rate if their electricity utilization was more than 50 percent of the national consumption rate.
Customers will pay a subsidized price only for energy use less than the 50 percent ceiling.

The average national power consumption rate for consumers with 6,600 volt amperes capacity is 983.4 kilowatt-hours, while users of 10,500 volt ampere is 1,218.

According to the new rate policy, big power users would have to pay the market rate of Rp 1,380 (10 US cents) each kilowatt-hour for the part of the electricity supply that exceeds the 50 percent ceiling.
Previously, the market rate was charged only for the use of the electricity above the 80 percent of the average national consumption rate.

“The new rate policy was effective since Jan. 1,” PLN president director Dahlan Iskan said.

The customers using more than 6,600 and 10,599 volt amperes capacity are usually those who own big houses and businesses. In Greater Jakarta, this is 120,000 of a total 3.5 million customers in the region, PLN Greater Jakarta head Purnomo Willy said.

Of the 120,000 customers, 49 percent are domestic customers, another 49 are business or commercial and the remaining 2 percent are public or government, he added.

“Households customers consuming higher than 6,600 volt amperes are from big houses in rich neighborhoods in Kelapa Gading, Pantai Indah Kapuk and Pondok Indah. Each house may have more than five air-conditioners,” Willy said.

At the national level, the numbers of customers using more than 6,600 volt amperes is about 378,000 customers out of 39 million customers in total.

PLN says the new policy is not part of the planned tariff increase but part of its program to save electricity use in the country. According to the company, this is a mechanism to urge big customers to control their power consumption.

“This is in line with the 2009 law on the 2010 State Budget. The law stipulates that customers using a 6,600 volt amperes power supply capacity and more are subject to some limitation,” PLN director Murtaqi Syamsuddin said.

But, lawmaker Satya Widya Yudha said PLN had increased the tariff and the policy was incorrect. “The tariff increase must be approved by the House of Representatives. Moreover, the tariff can only be raised by the government, not president director of PLN,” Satya said.

Satya said the House of Representatives Commission VII overseeing energy and mineral resources would further evaluate the policy. By the end of last year, the government said it planned to raise electricity tariffs this year. The latest media report stated that the average increase could be about 15 percent.
Later on the government said the increase would not occur this year. Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said the tariff would not be increased since power was still in deficit. “It is improper to raise the tariff when blackouts occur everywhere,” he said.