Norman Harsono, Jakarta – State-owned electricity company PLN will relax bill payments this month for household customers whose bills spiked because of the company's flawed new bill-calculation method.
PLN, in a statement on Thursday, said it would only charge 40 percent of affected customers' June bills. The remaining 60 percent would be divided and charged equally over the following three months.
The relaxation applies for customers whose June bill jumped over 20 percent relative to May's bill as a result of PLN's flawed calculation method. The company will have the say over whether a bill spiked because of the new method or because of higher power consumption.
"PLN will inspect every customer's data one by one to ensure this policy is on target for customers who experienced an abnormal spike," said PLN customer management director Bob Saril.
Because of the added inspection time, PLN will only bill customers on June 6 instead of the usual dates of June 2-3, he added.
Dozens of consumers took to Twitter and Instagram in early May, complaining about higher-than-usual electricity bills that month. Some consumers said they were not even at home.
Many consumers, however, were simply unaware that working from home would raise electricity bills, noted the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI). Several major cities, including Jakarta, implemented partial lockdowns (PSBB) that month.
However, PLN also admitted that over 100 customers in Jakarta alone did experience a spike in their May power bills because of the flawed new method.
The electricity company's new billing method calculates monthly residential power bills based on consumption in the previous three months. The higher-than-usual consumption in April, for example, was billed in May.