Get to know the Indonesian Home Electricity System

Every house in Indonesia has different electrical power despite having the same size. Electricity should be one of the things you consider when buying a house in Indonesia.

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Lifestyle & Tips

Every house in Indonesia has different electrical power despite having the same size. Electricity should be one of the things you consider when buying a house in Indonesia. How to know the amount of capacity you have? How to count the amount of power you need in a month? What is the best power package to subscribe? Let’s walk through these basic things which you need to know about the residents’ electric system in Indonesia!

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Energy Retailer

Indonesia has monopolistic structure when it comes to power supply. PLN (Perusahaan Listrik Negara) is the only electricity supplier for the nation, they distribute electricity to houses across the country. In general, the average electricity voltage produced by PLN is 220 V.

How do PLN count my electric bill?

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Each house in Indonesia is installed with a KWH Meter and Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB). Electric meter is used to measure how much electric current you’re using to count your electricity bill, while MCB is a device that serves to limit the usage of electric current that will prevent overflow of energy. MCB will automatically cut your electric current when you exceed the predetermined limit.

PLN will install MCB capacity according to the requested electric power limit. If you buy a house from the previous owner or looking to rent one, you can see how much electric power your house currently has by reading the Ampere (Unit of Electric Current) listed on the MCB.

So, how much electrical power do you need?

You can roughly count this by yourself! List down all electrical equipment you use frequently and the power they consume (Watt). For example;

2 x Air Conditioner:  820W x 2 = 1640W
1 x Refrigerator:          128W x 1 = 256W
1 x Heater:                   250W x 1 = 250W
12 x LED lights:              15W x 1  = 180W
Total                                              = 2326W or 2326 VA

Therefore, you need more than 2326 VA in your house.

Start your Power

When you just bought a house, your electricity may not be connected yet. You need to contact your local PLN to turn it on. While you’re there, request for the desired maximum electrical power capacity as well. There are several electrical power packages that is offered by PLN, 220VA (1A), 450VA (2A), 900VA (4A), 1300VA (6A), 2200VA (10A), 3500VA (16A), 4400VA (20A), 5500VA (25A). If your electric appliance only uses 2326 VA, you need to select 16A or higher.

Choosing the Best Energy Plan

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PLN offers two ways of paying your electric bill, Post-paid and Pre-paid. How do you know which is the best for you?

  • Post-paid Electric Plan
    If you choose a post-paid electric bill, PLN will charge you every month. A PLN officer will go to your house and check on the KWH Meter to read your electricity usage and determine the amount of bill you have to pay.Estimate your demand charge every month yourself, by manually counting it. Refer to your previous month’ electric bill and see the exact rate per KWH. Divide your total (jumlah rupiah tagihan) by the kilowatt usage (Pemakaian KWH Total) and you’ll get the rate per KWH usage. After several months estimating and accustom yourself to meter reading, you might even be able to know your approximate monthly electric bill.
  • Pre-paid Electric Plan
    Lately, new residential construction utilize pre-paid electric meters where you pay your bills with a voucher system. Your MCB will be digital instead of analogue and you can directly input voucher code to refill your electricity. With this plan, you only need to pay your average electricity bill and increase your energy efficiency.The price offered varies according to the usage and electrical power of the customer. If a customer’s prepaid credit becomes near to exhaustion, a warning beeping sound will alert you. When the account does become exhausted, the electricity is automatically cut off. Payment into your account can be made via purchasing vouchers which range in price from Rp 20,000 to Rp 1,000,000.If you’re the type of person who travels a lot or prefers to spend most time outside, Pre-paid electricity plan is the better option.