The program for converting a 3-kilogram Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) stove to an electric stove was suddenly canceled. The trial was also canceled. This decision was taken by the State Electricity Company (PLN) to maintain the comfort of the community.
PLN feels the need to maintain the comfort of community who are in the post-pandemic economic recovery period. Moreover, the program also received a lot of criticism from the wider community.
In fact, the conversion program is expected to help reduce oversupply or excess electricity supply and also suppress LPG imports.
“PLN decided to cancel the transfer program to electric stoves. PLN is here to provide comfort in the community through reliable electricity supply,” said PLN President Director, Darmawan Prasodjo, in a written statement, Tuesday (27/9/2022).
Previously, PLN said that the program for switching from 3 kg LPG stoves to household electric stoves could save the State Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBN) and LPG imports up to trillions of rupiah. This was explained by the company in a Hearing Meeting (RDP) with Commission VII DPR RI a few weeks ago.
Darmawan said the LPG-to-electric stove conversion program of 15.3 million customers would save the state budget of Rp 85.6 trillion, for five years after the program’s implementation.
According to him, if the LPG-to-electric stove conversion program is extended to all PLN customers who are users of 3-kg LPG as much as 69.4 million, the LPG import spending savings will reach Rp 44 trillion per year.
Meanwhile, if the conversion program is only for 15.3 million customers, it will save LPG import spending by Rp 10.21 trillion per year.
“Save the cost of importing LPG with a conversion program in 2028, which is IDR 10.21 trillion per year,” said Darmawan in a Hearing Meeting with Commission VII DPR, Wednesday (14/9/2022).
Darmawan explained that the 3 kg LPG subsidy that was not well targeted had cost the state finances more than Rp 300 trillion since 2017. This figure has the potential to continue to swell from year to year due to the increase in the number of users and the volume of LPG use that cannot be controlled following the subsidy target.
But unfortunately, PLN’s plan was completely opposed by Commission VII of the DPR. One of them is Member of Commission VII DPR RI Ramson Siagian.
According to Ramson, the conversion program of 3 kg LPG to electric stoves seems rushed and can sacrifice small communities. For example, which has an electric power of 450 Volt Ampere (VA).
The reason is, if the electrical power from a 450 VA customer switches to 900 VA to be able to use an electric stove, certainly, an increase in monthly costs cannot be avoided.
Ramson assesses that the use of electric stoves is PLN’s effort to absorb electricity supply which is currently in oversupply due to the 35,000 Mega Watt (MW) project. Considering that when planning the construction program of 35 thousand MW, the government predicts economic growth can reach 7%.
However, this prediction seems to have gone wrong, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic slowdown, where economic growth was only 4.9%, so it also had an impact on low electricity absorption nationally.
However, Ramson is optimistic that when economic growth begins to swell in the next five years, the problem of oversupply of electricity at PLN can be resolved.