Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
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Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

PLN Unplugged

Yes, we experienced the blackout too. Oh, dear. Much unpleasant.

And if you think it only means sweating away at the office (like treespotter), or dessert gone bad in your fridge, you should think of Pak Sembiring. He owns a small photocopy shop, and the more power-cut he gets, more customers leave him, taking the business elsewhere.
The shop is his sole source of income: "PLN holds my soul hostage," he joked bitterly.

But what can we do? Well, PLN said "to avoid more blackouts PLN requests the customers to reduce power consumption" [1].

Incompetence aside (PLN's, that is), since we cannot find any other constructive way maybe we should put that into consideration.
But how?

Then this information came our way:
Do you know that microwave oven consumes more electricity powering its digital clock than it does heating food? [2].

For while heating food requires more than 100 times as much power as running the clock, most microwave ovens stand idle—in “standby” mode—more than 99% of the time. And they are not alone: many other devices, such as televisions, DVD players, stereos and computers also spend much of their lives in standby mode, collectively consuming a huge amount of energy.

But how bad is it? According to the same article, the standby power accounted for as much as 10% of household power-consumption. A study in France put it at 7%. In the UK, it is 8% [3].

That means, roughly and theoretically speaking, by unplugging our appliances when we don't use them, we can reduce power consumption, and also our bill.

Some of us said "that can't be true. Surely standby power consumes very small fraction of energy. The equipment producers for sure have thought of that?"
Well, yes and no. Because "Equipment-makers do not have any incentive to use more efficient components, after all, since the cost (in higher power consumption) is borne by their customers. [2]"

It is that bad that the (British) government is to outlaw standby switches on televisions and video and DVD players to cut the amount of electricity wasted in the home. [3].

So, how many appliances you got standing idly-by at home? microwave oven, TV, stereo, dvd player, your PC, more PCs for the kids upstairs, the kids' stereo, the kids' playstation... Your list may go on.

Maybe it is time to unplug when we don't use them.

It may not be much, but if we all do it together, it may bring a smile back to many people like Pak Sembiring.
That in itself should be an incentive enough.


[1] Detik - PLN: Listrik Normal Paling Cepat Senin Malam
[2] Economist - Pulling the Plug on Standby Power
[3] Times Online - TV Standby Buttons will be Outlawed


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow.. this is very useful information. thanks for sharing! will definitely unplug those equipments currently in its idle mode ..

5:19 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

interesting... do you also know why the clock is never set right on those?

i never use digital clock. they're ugly.

7:05 PM  
Blogger oigal said...

mmmm ..I could be wrong but I was always taught that leaving electronics in standby mode was a very important point as the changes in temperature would induce moisture into the machines if you turned them off and on. I was also taught it was even more critical in the tropics!

8:50 PM  
Blogger agus set said...

you said:

But what can we do? Well, PLN said "to avoid more blackouts PLN requests the customers to reduce power consumption"

what is the main reason of PLN's blackout? are you sure it because of the power consumption by the consumers? or just "an excuse" from PLN because of its mismanagement and inefficiency?

in marketting law, producent will always happy when the consumer demand increases, because it will increase the profit also. so, why PLN should ask people reducing their electricity consumption?

of course we can't avoid the effect of world oil price hike nowdays, but PLN (maybe) still can do some efficiency actions to reduce the production or operational costs, or maybe PLN should reduce or restricted the use of electricity for billboards.

oh ya, what about the vice president campaign on reducing the use of air conditions? is that campaign still exist now?

5:56 AM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

let us know when you see the next bill, if there is any impact or not. Just curious.

just unplug your microwave. That way, when you plug it to use, it will always show 12:00.
It's not right, but at least it will be consistent...

the moisture thing is news to us. Really?

Agus set,
we are not big fans of PLN either.
Mismanagement, inefficiency, incompetence... you name it.
But at the end of the day, there is not enough electricity, and hence blackout. And it is us little people who suffer. Not the PLN bigshots.

Agree on the PLN efficiency. Let's start with pay cut for it's board of directors...

About the vice president's campaign on reducing aircon: we're amazed that you still remember... :)

4:34 PM  
Blogger Memento said...

i've been doing this 'electrical economics' ever since i stopped living at a student accommodation, where any amount of electricity is inclusive with the monthly rent. switching off appliances does make a difference in your monthly bills, people :)

btw, i never heard of that british gov regulation on idle appliances. i know they hunt people who don't have TV licenses! *LOL*

lately the gov is more concerned about the water supply coz the south part is experiencing a drought. now that's another interesting topic, isn't it? :)

6:14 PM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

Memento, Thank you.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

OOT: you guys been a bit lazy aren't you?

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I or should i say we (the whole of Balikpapan and surrounding areas) hate PLN with a passion! Here in Balikpapan (THE Richest OIL, GAS and Mining city in Indonesia)has PLN back outs every day. The rotate the blackouts which are random and can last for more than 12 hours a day. These blackouts can go for 2-3 days at a time. For the richest oil, gas and mining city in Indonesia thats really bad....where did all the money go? obviously not to building new power generating plants...mmmm oh and we have now run out of potable water which happens every year for about 3 months at a time....Balikpapan and Samarinda also have some of the highest rain fall and boast some of the biggest rivers in Indonesia....mmm where did all the dam construction go? i wonder if it's incompetance or sheer lazyness or jsut the money to construct these amenities just disapeared onto some other "more important" projects...

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't help it... been campaigning on this issue for years..:D
check out this no cost energy saving tips on


11:52 AM  

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