Integration of Larger Renewable Energy Capacities Requires Energy System Reform

press release

Jakarta, September 19, 2023 – The Indonesia Clean Energy Forum (ICEF) and the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) are urging Indonesia to reform its electricity system to accommodate the integration of larger capacities of renewable energy, particularly solar and wind, also known as variable renewable energy (VRE). This would involve flexible operation of the electricity system, strengthening VRE forecasting capabilities, and revitalizing the network infrastructure.

There are at least three key considerations. Firstly, incentives for players involved in operating a flexible electricity system. Secondly, transparency in the procurement processes for renewable energy generation and network infrastructure. Thirdly, regulatory reforms to accommodate flexible electricity system operation and encourage greater adoption of renewable energy.

The opportunity to reform Indonesia’s electricity system with a larger share of renewable energy capacity requires substantial investment support. Hasyim Daeng Barang, Director of Mineral and Coal Downstream at the Ministry of Investment and BKPM RI, stated that investor interest in renewable energy development in Indonesia is growing. The ministry is committed to facilitating investor needs, especially regarding the initiation of new renewable energy projects, by coordinating and connecting investors with relevant stakeholders.

“The Ministry of Investment/BKPM is also working to provide comprehensive information to investors through the preparation of Investment Projects Ready to Offer, including pre-feasibility study documents for strategic projects in various regions,” explained Hasyim during the second day of the Indonesia Energy Transition Dialogue 2023 on Tuesday (9/19/23).

Furthermore, BKPM emphasizes that alongside promoting investment in potential/priority sectors, sustainability remains the responsibility of the entire economy.

In his presentation, Michael Waldron, Senior Advisor Program Manager at the International Energy Agency (IEA), introduced six stages of VRE integration into the electricity system. According to Michael, Indonesia, with its current VRE mix still below 1%, is in the first stage of VRE integration. This means that VRE operation has a very minor impact on the electricity system. However, future planning should significantly consider a higher VRE mix as the cost of VRE generation has been declining over the past decade.

Regarding the electricity system’s prices and investment costs in Indonesia, Michael believes they are still above international market rates. This makes renewable energy development economically less attractive in Indonesia. He encourages Indonesia to reduce costs through contract and operational reforms within the electricity system to attract more investments. Inter-island electricity network integration connects renewable energy sources with demand centers. He added that contract and operational reforms should also target conventional power plants, such as coal-fired, which can play a role in flexible electricity system operation.

He believes that progress in interconnection within ASEAN and flexible energy system operation in Indonesia will accelerate emissions reduction and cost savings.

“Indonesia’s energy system can prepare for a larger share of renewable energy through new contracts, providing incentives for investments in the electricity network, developing system flexibility strategies, and adapting network planning and operation to maximize the share of variable renewable energy and establish a vision for a smart grid,” Waldron expressed.

Munawwar Furqan, General Manager of PLN Unit Induk Pusat Pengatur Beban Jawa, Madura, and Bali (PLN UIP2B Jamali), mentioned that renewable energy generation with variable energy variations is currently located in Sulawesi, consisting of 5 renewable energy generators with a total capacity of 170 MW, including Likupang SPP (15 MW), Sumulata SPP (2 MW), Sidrap WPP (77 MW), and Tolo (Jeneponto) (66 MW). However, Munawwar pointed out that they have identified several challenges in operating an energy system accommodating variable renewable energy, including the intermittent nature of renewable energy affecting the system, changing reliability, and frequency.

“Several strategies are being implemented to control the intermittency of variable renewable energy, such as revising the grid code for network users, forecasting and load curtailment for system stability, and installing battery energy storage systems. Forecasting capacity is essential for operating generators with variable renewable energy to manage variability and anticipate it,” he explained.

Deon Arinaldo, Energy Transformation Program Manager at IESR, suggested that relevant parties should inventory weather forecast data to make more accurate forecasting and more efficient renewable energy generation investment planning.


“Collaboration with other parties like BMKG for weather forecasts is important and potential. Actual weather conditions in each location must be considered. The availability of weather forecast data on solar radiation for the public is crucial as it will benefit many parties. Accurate data forms the basis for system flexibility, allowing us to assess battery needs, variable renewable energy variations, and more,” Deon stated.

Highlighting energy storage to support renewable energy integration, Indonesia, through the Indonesia Battery Corporation (IBC), is increasingly concerned about Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) plans or technology for storing electrical energy using specialized batteries. BESS will store excess energy from renewable energy systems to supply loads when renewable energy sources cannot generate power.

“Several factors contribute to the success of BESS projects, including technology, competitiveness, price, innovation, and market growth. Battery prices continue to decline and are expected to fall below $200/kWh, so we are optimistic that BESS development is the right moment for Indonesia’s future,” said Bayu Yudhi Hermawan, VP Business Development at Indonesia Battery Corporation (IBC).

IBC is building an integrated industry from upstream to downstream to produce battery cells for electric vehicles, including cars and motorcycles. Indonesia has significant potential as the world’s largest nickel producer, the primary raw material for electric vehicle batteries.

“Therefore, IBC is currently working on nickel-based projects, primarily for the downstream ecosystem of electric vehicles and batteries. Concerning capability investments, we believe we can compete with other countries. Our resources are number one globally regarding reserves and nickel production,” Bayu stated.

CNBC | ASEAN Will Shine Brightly in 2040

The comparison of the number of electrified household customers with the total number of households, known as the electrification ratio, especially in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has experienced a significant increase in recent years.

Baca selengkapnya di CNBC.

Challenges and Opportunities: Encouraging Equal Access to Electricity in Indonesia

Jakarta, August 22, 2023 – Indonesia, as an archipelagic country with various geographical and demographic conditions, faces complex challenges in realizing equal access to electricity for all its residents. Despite significant progress in the energy sector over the past few years, the national electricity grid still needs to cover many remote and inland areas. In facing this challenge, the government is responsible for bridging the electricity access gap to provide economic and social benefits to all citizens.

Deon Arinaldo, Manager of the Energy Transformation Program IESR, explained equity in access to electricity and electricity quality is by the national energy policy, namely PP 79 of 2014, which clearly states that the national energy policy aims to create national energy security and independence. One of the priorities in the KEN is prioritizing energy development and utilization of existing resources in the country for communities or parties who do not have access to energy, be it electricity or others.

“For that, we need a proven strategy. For example, developing an isolated off-grid African system is not connected to a large network. Still, it is built specifically to electrify a certain area, utilizing the renewable energy available. However, this strategy certainly has advantages and disadvantages. Access to electricity should have the spirit of not only providing access to electricity but also how access to electricity can provide opportunities for people who get access to improve their quality of life and boost the economy in the region,” said Deon Arinaldo in the webinar Road to IETD: Energy Transition in Equality of National Electrification.

Alvin Putra Sisdwinugraha, Electricity System and Renewable Energy Analyst IESR mentioned the electrification ratio is unable to answer questions related to accessibility, reliability, as well as capacity, and quality. For this reason, it is necessary to use the Multi-Tier Framework (MTF), which is a spectrum of service quality from the point of view of end-users.

“For example, IESR has conducted MTF assessments in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), and the results are still limited to Tier 1-2, namely electricity is not available for 24 hours and is limited. So an evaluation method is needed to integrate the quality of electricity service as a key indicator of achievement related to energy access. This requires coordination between institutions such as the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, PLN, the Ministry of Villages, and the Regional Government/Provincial Government,” said Alvin. ‘

Reflecting on this, said Alvin, IESR is trying to push the paradigm “Beyond 100%,” where access to electricity and energy is not only seen from the electrification ratio. However, there needs to be a paradigm shift in providing access to power, which is reflected in the energy development plan. The energy in question is for fair and equal development for all people.

Rachmat Mardiana, Director of Electricity, Telecommunications and Informatics, Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas stated, with Indonesia’s desire to reach a developed country or get out of the middle-income trap, meeting electricity needs is also a challenge in the direction of regional development in every island in Indonesia. If you look at the territorial issue of electricity, the geographical conditions of Indonesia, which is an archipelagic country spread across, pose a challenge to providing good electricity services. For this reason, several transformative efforts in electricity can be carried out, such as accelerating the energy transition, reforming subsidies, and increasing the efficiency of electricity utilization.

“Efforts to electrify Indonesia are also inseparable from the potential for renewable energy in Indonesia, such as solar, hydro, bioenergy, wind, geothermal, and sea. This is also supported by reduced investment costs so that it can be implemented in remote areas. Collaborative efforts are needed between the government, the community, BUMN, and experts to carry out national electrification equity. Bappenas, together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), has developed a model to electrify eastern Indonesia, such as Maluku, Papua, and Nusa Tenggara, whose data sources come from satellite imagery. The main goal is to reduce the required initial investment costs, “said Rahmat.

Marlistya Citraningrum, Manager of the Sustainable Energy Access Program IESR, stated that having electricity or having access to electricity is an essential service for the community for welfare. For this reason, the definition of the electrification ratio needs to be updated, so there is no definition beyond connection. This means having electricity means receiving enough electricity for daily activities, productive activities, and other essential services for the welfare of society.

“Currently, there is Presidential Decree No. 11 of 2023, which gives more authority to local governments, especially the development of renewable energy. Then the next implementation is the program design or what kind of plan is suitable for providing renewable energy to the local area in seeking access to electricity. With decentralization, all energy source options from PLN, the central government, and local governments can be explored to improve quality so that it is hoped that access will be easy, reliable, and of good quality,” said Marlistya.

According to Lambas Richard Pasaribu, the VP of Development at Lisdes and Isolated Systems PLN, the national electrification ratio in Indonesia has reached 99.72% as of June 2023. However, there are still challenges in providing equal access to electricity, primarily due to limited infrastructure, such as roads and bridges. This is especially true in isolated and remote areas, particularly in eastern Indonesia. In some cases, no jetties are available, meaning that materials have to be dumped overboard and transported to the location by electrical contractor workers.

“To provide more rural areas with access to electricity, PLN collaborates with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) and local governments, particularly in Disadvantaged, Frontier, and Outermost (3T) regions, to create regional infrastructure and work plans for electricity development. This teamwork is considered effective since establishing basic infrastructure can decrease the cost of constructing electricity infrastructure, allowing more villages to be connected to electricity,” said Lambas.

Sandra Winarsa, Manager of the Hivos Green Energy (Sumba) Project said ensuring fair access to electricity in all regions during the energy transition process and the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) agreement is crucial. Moreover, people’s concern extends to the quality of electricity supply, as it frequently gets disrupted even for those with access to it.

“We appreciate the government’s program in fulfilling electrification, but the priority of terminating coal-fired power plants may overshadow the need to ensure equitable access to electrification for all. For this reason, don’t let anyone who has not received this electrification injustice fall into the abyss again. However, I don’t see any priority from JETP regarding access to electricity. In carrying out decentralization, regional government readiness is also needed to monitor in helping more prepared institutions and HR readiness to troubleshoot technical matters,” said Sandra.

Power Wheeling Scheme Has Potential Create Renewable Energy Market

Fabby Tumiwa

Jakarta, February 28, 2023 – Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), Fabby Tumiwa, highlighted the power-wheeling scheme contained in discussions on the New Energy and Renewable Energy Bill (RUU EBET). However, the scheme has been removed from the problem inventory list (DIM) preparation in the New and Renewable Energy Bill (RUU EBET). Power wheeling is a mechanism that allows private companies or independent power producers (IPP) to build power plants and sell electricity to household and industrial customers. Fabby explained power wheeling is needed to align with Indonesia’s efforts to increase renewable energy.

“The Government has set a target of achieving a 23% New Renewable Energy (EBT) mix in 2025, both for electricity and liquid fuels. Then, in 2021, President Jokowi set an NZE target of 2060 or earlier. This target is driving the energy transition to decarbonize the energy sector. As a consequence of this, renewable energy needs to be developed on a large scale,” explain Fabby Tumiwa in the webinar “New Energy and Renewable Energy for the Prosperity of All” organized by the Center of Economic and Law Studies (CELIOS), on Tuesday (28/2/ 2023).

Unfortunately, Fabby mentioned, the growth of renewable energy tends to be slow. This can be seen from the achievement of the new renewable energy (EBT) mix of around 14.11% in 2022. Fabby assesses that it is best when the combination of new and renewable energy in the electricity sector reaches 30%. Achievements in 2022, said Fabby, were only half of the 2025 target that the Government had set.

“Reflecting on these conditions, the gap with the primary renewable energy mix target of 23% in 2025 is widening. Strategic innovation is needed to encourage the implementation of renewable energy. Moreover, Indonesia’s massive renewable energy potential has not been utilized. On the other hand, the cost of generating electricity from renewable energy is very competitive. Eliminating incentives for fossil energy is enough to make renewable energy the cheapest option,” said Fabby.

Along with this, Fabby emphasized that the concept of power wheeling is familiar because previously the Government had regulated it based on the ESDM Ministerial Regulation (Permen) No 1/2015 and ESDM Ministerial Regulation (Permen) No 11/2021. Still, these regulations need to be implemented. Thus, Fabby stated that power wheeling has the potential to create a renewable energy market while maintaining industry/company investment in Indonesia. One of them is the industrial group that joined RE100.

“Power wheeling can encourage renewable energy because it provides incentives from the supply and demand side. However, power wheeling requires further adjustment. Regulatory regulations regulate tariffs for power-wheeling schemes in other countries, at least in their formulation. At the same time, the commercial aspect is taken care of by business-to-business between those who wish to use it and the transmission owner. Not only that, power wheeling needs to be included in the law because the implications of implementing the scheme will involve several ministries/agencies. For that, it’s not enough to get ministerial regulations,” stated Fabby.

Is Indonesia’s Plan on Phasing Its Coal-based Generation Fleet Ambitious Enough?

In the early 90s, a blackout was a common phenomenon in Indonesia. Most of the time, it occurred without further notice from the utility company, PLN. It was even worse for those living outside Java and Sumatra islands. Having been born and bred in Kalimantan, I have witnessed this within the neighbourhood close to where I lived. Almost every household there has an electric generator as a backup for when a blackout is happening. However, the situation changed when the government began ramping up power generation installed capacity throughout the late 90s, spearheaded by the utilisation of coal-fired power plants (CFPPs).

The massive development of these power plants were driven by the abundance supply of inexpensive domestic coal. Consequently, the cost of generation became cheaper than other forms of electricity generation, including natural gas-fired power plants. The development was further propelled by the electricity law no 30/2009, replacing the old law no 15/1985, which allowed private participation in the sector. In Indonesia, the deployment of CFPPs were carried out through three government-backed programmes, namely 35,000 MW and Fast-Track Programme phase 1 & 2. To date, the generation from these power plants contributes to around 65% of Indonesia’s electricity supply. The aIt is not surprising then that one third of Indonesia’s CO2 emissions comes from the sector.

Compounded with the falling cost of renewable electricity generation, the CFPPs would eventually lose their economic competitiveness. This is a situation that is not exclusive within the global context, but also within the Indonesia context. Recent study by BNEF and IESR has projected the falling cost of generation from solar PV to even below the new CFPPs by 2023. By 2040, solar PV cost of generation would be lower than the short marginal running cost (SMRC) of existing CFPPs. Upon realising that, the government has recently published a plan on retiring 9.2 GW of its CFPP fleet by 2030. 5.5 GW of the fleet will be retired early, whilst the rest, i.e. 3.7 GW, will be replaced with renewables. The plan will indeed see the CFPPs off from Indonesia generation mix by 2060. Whilst the initiative is very much appreciated, the plan itself is still quite far from being compatible with the 1.5°C pathway as rectified in the Paris Agreement. The question arises on how to then make the plan more compatible with the pathway.

According to IESR analysis, by keeping what the government has planned, the retirement program could still be made compatible with the pathway. Considering all the economic and societal impacts, the 1.5°C-compatible retirement pathway will see around 21.7 GW of the CFPP fleet, owned by PLN and IPP, to be retired between 2031 – 2040. Between 2041 – 2045, around 12.5 GW of the CFPP fleet will be retired. The analysis also shows that the accelerated CFPP retirement is feasible and beneficial. With the rapid departure of the CFPP fleet from Indonesia generation mixture, the analysis found out that the avoided coal power subsidies and health costs are actually 2 – 3 times larger than the costs on stranded assets, decommissioning, employment transition and state coal revenue losses. It is anticipated that the retirement cost from the accelerated retirement is estimated to be 4.3 billion USD by 2030 and 28 billion USD by 2045. These seemingly large chunks of cost will certainly need significant international support, despite the larger benefits gained in the long run.

Financial Support for the Energy Transition in the Residential Sector

Jakarta, June 9, 2022 – The potential for the use of rooftop PV in the residential sector is one of the largest in accelerating the energy transition and achieving Indonesia’s renewable energy mix target. Appropriate policy instruments and attractive financial support are some of the supporting factors in encouraging the massive adoption of rooftop solar PV in Indonesia.

Andriah Feby Misna, Director of New and Renewable Energy, stated that Indonesia has several national targets, i.e achieving a 23% renewable energy mix by 2025, reducing emissions by 29% with own efforts and 41% with foreign assistance by 2030, and achieving net zero emission by 2060.

“For this reason, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has developed various strategies such as green RUPTL at PLN and encouraging the use of rooftop solar in the household sector and including them in national strategic programs. As support (on rooftop PV), we issued the Minister Regulation No. 26/2021,” she explained. 

Feby added that the current number of rooftop solar customers is 4,377 households, and there has been significant growth since the issuance of a ministerial regulation that regulates PLN customers who install rooftop PV in 2018.

Feby does not deny that currently there are still barriers in the implementation of the MEMR Regulation No. 26/2021, but she said that her party is currently trying to find a win-win solution so that the regulation can take effect immediately.

In addition to regulations that are still not optimal, another obstacle to the use of rooftop solar in the household sector is the initial investment which is still relatively large for the community. However, there is still a large market potential in the household sector.

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, explained that based on a gradual market survey conducted by IESR since 2019, the market potential for rooftop solar PV in the residential sector in a some big cities in Indonesia such as Greater Jakarta, Surabaya, Central Java and Bali reached 34 – 116 GW.

“The potential of the energy transition market in the household sector is huge. Those who fall into the category of early followers and early adopters need to be caught. Because they are quite familiar with their products (rooftop PV) and have the intention to install them, but are constrained by a large initial investment,” Fabby explained.

Respondents of the survey expect credit products from banks with a tenor range of 24-48 months with low interest.

Veronika Susanti, Digital Lending Division Head of OCBC NISP bank explained that the renewable energy sector is one of the concerns of the banking sector to obtain funding.

“Currently we have a solar panel financing program with two schemes. First, 0% credit card installments and cash loan for a maximum of 36 months,” said Veronika.

She added that her party was collaborating with solar panel service providers to make it easier for customers to access this rooftop PV financing scheme as well as to learn about technology so that they better understand the risks and opportunities of rooftop PV.

Fendi Gunawan Liem, founder and CEO of SEDAYU Solar also emphasized that the potential for the residential sector to grow and develop is enormous.

“The residential sector is the sector that has the latest solar panel installation regulations, but has the largest customer growth compared to other sectors,” said Fendi.

Banks as financial institutions need to see rooftop solar as a low-risk asset, for that it is necessary to study rooftop solar power technology so that they can make accurate risk analysis. Thus, banks can design more friendly credit schemes with more diverse tenors and lower interest rates.

Kompas | Daya Beli Masyarakat Turun, Insentif Tarif Listrik Diusulkan

IESR mengusulkan pemberian insentif bagi pelanggan listrik rumah tangga golongan 450 VA dan 900 VA yang tidak mampu. Insentif tersebut berupa penggratisan tarif listrik untuk pemakaian 50 kWh pertama.

·4 menit baca | Kompas

JAKARTA, KOMPAS — Penurunan tarif listrik maupun subsidi tarif untuk pelanggan rumah tangga miskin diusulkan sebagai insentif di tengah wabah Covid-19. Usulan ini disampaikan menyusul kian melemahnya daya beli masyarakat akibat terhentinya aktivitas ekonomi selama siaga Covid-19.

Ketua Pengurus Harian Yayasan Lembaga Konsumen Indonesia (YLKI) Tulus Abadi mengatakan, wabah Covid-19 di Indonesia menyebabkan penghasilan kelompok masyarakat tertentu merosot. Kelompok itu adalah yang pendapatannya berbasis harian. Di situasi seperti ini, daya beli mereka kian melemah.

”Kami mengusulkan tarif listrik diturunkan, khususnya golongan 900 volt ampere. Bahkan, kalau perlu juga golongan 1.300 volt ampere. Usulan kami besaran penurunan sedikitnya Rp 100 per kilowatt jam selama tiga sampai enam bulan ke depan bergantung pada lamanya wabah,” ujar Tulus, Senin (30/3/2020), di Jakarta.

Penurunan tarif tersebut dapat mengurangi beban ekonomi masyarakat yang rentan terdampak wabah Covid-19.

Menurut Tulus, penurunan tarif itu dapat mengurangi beban ekonomi masyarakat yang rentan terdampak wabah Covid-19. Penurunan tarif di tengah merosotnya harga minyak mentah dunia diyakini tidak akan mengganggu biaya pokok penyediaan listrik.

Harga minyak mentah dunia adalah salah satu faktor penentu tarif listrik di Indonesia, selain harga batubara, kurs rupiah terhadap dollar AS, dan inflasi.

Grafis tarif listrik di Indonesia. Empat faktor penentu tarif listrik adalah harga minyak dunia, kurs rupiah terhadap dollar AS, harga batubara, dan inflasi.


Sementara itu, Direktur Eksekutif Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) Fabby Tumiwa mengatakan, IESR sudah mengusulkan pemberian insentif bagi pelanggan listrik rumah tangga golongan 450 VA dan 900 VA yang tidak mampu. Insentif tersebut berupa penggratisan tarif listrik untuk pemakaian 50 kWh pertama.

”Mengapa batasannya 50 kWh? Dari berbagai penelitian, konsumsi listrik dalam kewajaran bagi rumah tangga miskin atau tidak mampu sebesar 40 kWh sampai 60 kWh per bulan. Jadi, negara harus menjamin hak energi kelompok tersebut,” kata Fabby.

Menurut Fabby, masyarakat golongan tersebut adalah salah satu golongan yang terdampak wabah Covid-19. Sebagian besar dari mereka bukan pekerja tetap yang mendapat upah rutin setiap bulan. Wabah Covid-19 yang sudah melemahkan aktivitas ekonomi global menyebabkan penghasilan harian mereka terganggu dan berpotensi kesulitan membayar tagihan listrik.

”Kami menghitung, kalau pembebasan tarif untuk pemakaian 50 kWh pertama per rumah tangga, dengan hitungan tarif listrik sekarang, diperlukan penambahan subsidi atau kompensasi kepada PLN sebesar Rp 2,2 triliun hingga Rp 2,3 triliun per bulan,” ucap Fabby.

Kalau pembebasan tarif untuk pemakaian 50 kWh pertama per rumah tangga, dengan hitungan tarif listrik sekarang, diperlukan penambahan subsidi atau kompensasi kepada PLN sebesar Rp 2,2 triliun hingga Rp 2,3 triliun per bulan.

Direktur Eksekutif Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) Fabby Tumiwa di sela-sela acara peluncuran Indonesia Clean Energy Forum (ICEF), Kamis (15/11/2018), di Jakarta. ICEF adalah sebuah forum gagasan untuk mendorong transformasi menuju pemanfaatan energi rendah karbon.


Pada 4 Maret 2020, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (ESDM) mengumumkan tarif listrik untuk periode April sampai Juni 2020 tidak berubah. Alasan pemerintah, selain untuk menjaga daya beli masyarakat, hampir seluruh harga energi menurun di tengah wabah Covid-19 yang melanda dunia.

Dengan demikian, tarif listrik untuk pelanggan rumah tangga dengan daya 1.300 VA dan 2.200 VA sebesar Rp 1.467 per kWh. Sementara tarif untuk rumah tangga mampu dengan daya 900 VA sebesar Rp 1.352 per kWh.

”Sampai Juni nanti tidak ada penyesuaian tarif. Ini sudah ditetapkan dengan pertimbangan kondisi keekonomian. Adanya wabah Covid-19, suka atau tidak, menyebabkan ekonomi tertekan,” ucap Direktur Jenderal Ketenagalistrikan Kementerian ESDM Rida Mulyana.

Data PLN hingga 2019, jumlah pelanggan listrik PLN mencapai 74,92 juta pelanggan. Dari 38 golongan tarif pelanggan PLN, sebanyak 25 golongan adalah penerima subsidi listrik. Golongan terbesar penerima subsidi listrik adalah rumah tangga 450 VA sebanyak 27,95 juta pelanggan. Berikutnya, rumah tangga 900 VA tak mampu sebanyak 8,04 juta pelanggan.

Dalam delapan tahun terakhir, pemerintah berhasil menekan angka subsidi listrik lewat verifikasi data pelanggan. Selama kurun 2011-2014, angka subsidi listrik berkisar Rp 93 triliun hingga Rp 103 triliun. Sejak 2015 hingga 2018, anggaran subsidi berhasil ditekan menjadi Rp 45 triliun hingga Rp 56 triliun.