, Indonesia
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PLN Icon Plus provides bundling solutions to expand PV Rooftop services

The company utilised the PLN app, downloaded by 43 million users, to streamline installations and monitor energy consumption efficiently.
 

Focused on driving Indonesia’s energy transition, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) presents a distinct blueprint — merging digital solutions with a green ethos. Through its subsidiary, PLN Icon Plus, the state-owned corporation offers digital solutions under a smart and green concept, targeting both the domestic and global energy retail markets. Their bundling solutions target institutions, businesses, and residential entities.

“What sets PLN Icon Plus apart is our bundling of green energy solutions through rooftop solar panels (PLTS) and integrating them with smart home services. Users will experience the use of rooftop solar panels while enjoying the convenience of reliable internet-supported smart home services,” said PLN Icon Plus CEO Ari Rahmat Indra Cahyadi, who spoke to Asian Power on the sidelines of the Enlit Asia 2023 event in Jakarta.

In this endeavor, the electricity company maximises the use of PLN’s digital asset, the PLN Mobile app, which has already been downloaded by 43 million customers across Indonesia. Through PLN Mobile, end-users can access and request PV Rooftop installations whilst monitoring them through the app.

“This (download count) represents a significant opportunity for us, as we can capitalise on existing PLN customers who are already using the PLN Mobile app to access PV Rooftop services,” Ari said.

Success story

The Smart and Green solution has been implemented by PLN Icon Plus through collaboration with one of the universities in Indonesia. This university utilises the integrated solution offered by PLN Icon Plus, where internet communication networks are combined with smart building technology.

Ari said innovated features of the smart building starts with access, then incorporates cameras, and also smart locks. This integrated solution is further enhanced with the installation of rooftop solar panels (PLTS Atap).

In addition to partnerships with universities, PLN Icon Plus has also forged collaborations with state-owned and private developers. “Hence, through collaborations with housing developers, when people buy a house, it already comes with internet access, smart home features, and additionally, rooftop solar panels are installed,” explained Ari.

Worthy collaborations

To further create a conducive environment for the energy retail market, PLN Icon Plus engages in various collaborations. One collaboration model the company adopts involves implementing a co-investment approach.

“So, we both invest, for instance, in digital platforms or materials, where there’s a contribution of services involved. This way, we grow together and share risks. For example, PLN Icon Plus excels in electricity and digital domains, and we can collaborate with investors who specialise in making solar panel costs highly efficient. This would create a very appealing service for the public,” Ari explained.

Such collaborations are crucial, especially considering the substantial market opportunities Ari sees in Indonesia. “I see growth in Indonesia still in the growing stage; currently, we are far below the potential of 1 gigawatt for rooftop PV potential in terms of end users,” he said.

To achieve this, PLN Icon Plus has opened up collaboration opportunities with both domestic and global companies. Also, Ari hopes for policies that facilitate easier access for people to install rooftop solar panels.

One aspect Ari highlighted during the interview concerned solar panel installations and their impact on the reliability of the PLN electrical system. If the electricity system is sufficiently reliable and has available capacity, customers can use rooftop solar panels according to their installed electrical capacity.

The awaited policy revolves around the revision of Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation No. 26 of 2021 concerning rooftop solar panels, particularly addressing the maximum power limitation based on the installed capacity.

“Alongside innovative business models and pushing for digital systems to integrate all business lines, what’s needed are regulations and incentives that attract people to contribute to the use of green energy,” he stressed.

Continued growth

Leveraging its strengths, the PLN subholding actively expanding its business lines beyond electricity, known as “Beyond kWh,” has been able to achieve exponential revenue growth. PLN Icon Plus recorded revenues of IDR4 trillion (US$249m) in 2022, up from IDR3.5 trillion (US$218m) in the previous year.

Ari stated that the company’s revenue continues to increase, with a 16% rise from 2021 to 2022 and a further 30% increase from 2022 to 2023. The target for the following year is a 40% increase, aiming for double-digit growth each year.

“We will continue to strive to boost demand with our unique bundling solution that I believe is difficult for others to replicate. Looking ahead, we will further emphasise this green solution. Hence, the composition of rooftop solar panels is expected to be the largest contributor, and we aim to enhance it from that aspect,” he concluded.

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