Between insufficiency and efficiency: Unraveling households' electricity usage characteristics of urban and rural Indonesia

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Indonesia has committed to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7, namely to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. The Indonesian government improves electricity access through various programs, from the fast-track program for coal-fired power plants to the electricity subsidy for low-income households. In contrast, energy efficiency has been a crucial problem, given that most power plants work with coal. This study raised the electricity usage issue between insufficiency and efficiency by investigating factors associated with electricity consumption inequality using quantile regression in urban and rural areas. It revealed that most Indonesian households still encountered energy insufficiency. Households vulnerable to falling into the energy poverty category were low-income households characterized by: female-headed households in urban areas, non-educated household heads, renters in urban areas, elderlies, and self-employed in rural areas. On the other hand, energy efficiency may target high-usage households characterized by: urban self-employed, university-level education, and houses 2200 VA power outlet or more. However, only 1 % of households were electricity productive users. Therefore, the government should provide affirmative action by promoting access to affordable energy for energy-poor households while considering sustainable energy for future generations. This condition will mean clean and sustainable energy development must be embedded in the country's energy plan to increase the electrification ratio and consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-117
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Electricity consumption
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy insufficiency
  • Quantile regression
  • Urban and rural


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