Social media was recently enlivened by complaints from citizens about electricity bills for household customers in May 2020 which tripled.
Soaring electricity bills are not only experienced by a number of ordinary customers. This was also experienced by one of the directors of PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (Persero).
PLN Director of Human Capital Management Syofvie Felianti Roekman admitted, his electricity bill even jumped 100 percent.
He said the surge was due to an increase in consumption that did occur in line with the move from home policies and Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB).
According to him, he who used to fill vouchers once for two months now has to fill in the electricity vouchers every month.
Responding to the customer’s complaint, PLN clarified that the current electricity bills have not changed. The increase in billing figures occurred because electricity consumption at the time of the PSBB in March and April 2020 increased, and was only calculated in May.
Director of Commerce and Customer Management of PLN Bob Sahril stated the surge in electricity bills in the middle of the pandemic occurred because PSBB required many parties to carry out activities from home, from work to school from home.
PLN stated that the recording of the meter is an average of three months in order to enforce government policies related to PSBB.
Thus, the use of electricity automatically increases and encourages bill surges.
“Some of PLN’s main things about recording the meter, we know that in March we have done the meter recording with an average of the past three months, the average goal taken is in order to enforce the PSBB, where our goals are in accordance with government programs to break the chain of the spread of the 19th plague, “said Senior Executive Vice President of PLN Business & Customer Service, Yuddy Setyo Wicaksono, in an online dialogue on Monday, June 8.
Yuddy asserted not because spoiled PLN workers did not want to come to the customer’s location. But because it avoids or breaks the Covid-19 chain, and for the sake of customer safety.
He said he would not prevent it, for example, if a PLN officer was exposed to co-19, it would be transmitted to customers.
Meanwhile, PLN Executive Vice President Corporate Communication and CSR, I Made Suprateka, said that his party had met the fact that there were changes in the mechanism and habits of electricity use since the PSBB was implemented.
In fact, according to calculations in December 2019, January and February 2020, electricity consumption tends to be stable. Made then explained simply, for example, the electricity tariffs for those 3 months were in the range of 50 kWh.
“Let’s take an example, the average monthly is 50 kWh. March the electricity intensity starts to rise. Let’s say they have started 70 kWh. But because of the Covid-19 protocol, we use recording with 3 months before, 50 kWh,” he explained in a video broadcast conference, Wednesday, June 5.
“The real consumption is 70 kWh, but we are billing 50 kWh. That means there are 20 kWh that have not been collected,” Made added.
The remaining bills are then diverted for April 2020, so that at the time of payment that month there will be an additional 20 kWh electricity dependents. However, at that time electricity consumption actually increased.
“When April was full 24 hours 30 days, the PSBB was applied. The realization of April was 90 kWh. Here, we started to use independent notes. Recorded 90 kWh, plus 20 kWh which carried over from March,” he explained.
Therefore, Made said, electricity billing this month will be 110 kWh. He also apologized for the lack of explanation like this to the customer.
House of Representatives (DPR) Commission VII member Mulyanto asked PLN to open a complaint post, both online and directly. This is related to the number of public complaints about the surge in electricity bills in June 2020. PLN must also be able to explain in detail the reasons for the increase in electricity bills per customer.
In fact, according to Mulyanto, there have been many cases of surge surges that exceeded the average for the past 3 months. In fact, there are customers who experienced a surge in bills of up to 300 percent. If it’s true the calculation is based on the average usage rate over the past 3 months, the number is unlikely to jump dramatically.