Jakarta Luxury Homes Face Electricity Cap

"Jakarta's Tailors Working in the Dark"

Having failed to meet the demand for electricity, the state power utility’s latest solution to the rolling blackouts afflicting Greater Jakarta includes cracking down on what it calls excessive consumption by a small number of upscale homes. In a 10-day program that could begin this weekend, PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara will install “load controller” devices in 200 homes that will automatically cut the power if they use more than a certain amount at peak periods. “Right now we are still gathering information, and we still need to purchase more devices, but we are expecting to start our house visits at the end of this week,” Purnomo Willy, PLN’s general manager for distribution for Jakarta and Tangerang, told the Jakarta Globe. “We are targeting homes with power usage of more than 30 kilowatts.” Meanwhile, 300 businesses were also likely to face tough restrictions on their power use, with PLN saying they should run on their own generators at peak times. Greater Jakarta faces a daily power deficit of 170 megawatts that has forced PLN to ration power across the city and its suburbs since early this month. The household-monitoring scheme will only save about 3 MW per day, and the devices are expected to cost Rp 1 billion ($106,000). Nonetheless, PLN is moving forward with the plan, Purnomo said, adding that the areas to be targeted include Pondok Indah, Menteng and Kebayoran Baru. “We will ask for homeowners’ compliance. I know for sure some will resist or complain, but we are used to it now,” he said. And they are likely to become more accustomed to it soon. One homeowner, Dien Soeprapto of Pondok Indah, said she was angry about PLN’s service. “We always pay every month. We are good customers,” she said. “The rolling blackouts are already a disservice to my home and my business. We are 10 years behind. We are worse than Vietnam.” Purnomo said PLN hoped the load controllers would force homes to reduce their power consumption by up to 30 percent. State Enterprises Minister Mustafa Abubakar on Thursday said PLN would have to go even further to conserve electricity. “We are going to impose efficiency measures in industrial areas in Pulogadung and Tangerang by urging 300 businesses to switch some of their electricity use to generators” during peak times, he said, during a surprise inspection of the Cawang power station. The station has been closed for repairs since a fire there in late September disrupted service and eventually triggered the current spate of blackouts. “We also urge malls and shopping centers to switch to generators, and they will have to increase room temperatures from 23 degrees to 25,” Mustafa said. “There will also be socialization [programs] for households to start saving electricity.”

Recommended Posts :