Economic Assistance to Electricity Customers in the ASEAN Member States during the COVID-19 Pandemic

31 August 2020

Key Points

To outline the status of the government initiatives in ASEAN geared to supporting electricity consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to convey recommendations for a sustainable recovery.

  • Various types of support measures are available to electricity consumers: electricity tariff exemptions, tariff reductions, tariff adjustments, payment extensions and refunds.
  • Each stimulus period is limited and has various definitions.
  • Among the various target groups, the main priority is the household sector.

Key Recommendations:

  • Extension of each support measure period due to the uncertainty and unpredictability of COVID-19.
  • Transformation of the support measures from short-term subsidies to other types of sustainable assistance.

The main recommendations for the AMS in terms of relief for electricity consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic are:

  • Extend the period of support or relief, especially to low-income consumers who are regarded as the most vulnerable. There is a critical need to help them withstand the economic contraction as household purchasing power nosedives.
  • Expand stimuli to other sectors which may have a direct effect on reviving household purchasing power, and concomitantly GDP growth. This will make the economic recovery programme more efficient and comprehensive.
  • Consider electricity tariff rebates and deferred payments for small business customers, small and large retailers, and other consumers who might face financial stress. Financial support geared to helping businesses continue to operate and survive in the market is considered essential during these unprecedented times.
  • In the absence of further allocations from the national budgets to compensate for the subsidies, the governments should introduce payment flexibility, i.e. offer a three to six months’ grace period for payment of the electricity bills. This can be done without putting further pressure on national budgets.



ASEAN Power Grid


Beni Suryadi, Akbar Dwi Wahyono, Stephanie Rawi, Aloysius Damar Pranadi, Akbar Swandaru

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