Burton saw off 10-man Macclesfield, who had substitute Vinny Mukendi sent off just 11 seconds after coming on.
Billy Kee scored the only goal when Elliott Hewitt gave the ball away to Jacques Maghoma and keeper Jose Veiga's initial save landed to the striker.
Ross Draper and Scott Boden both missed excellent chances for the visitors when well placed to score.
Half-time sub Mukendi saw red for elbowing Ryan Austin before Albion's Jimmy Phillips blew a great chance.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Burton boss Paul Peschisolido told BBC Radio Derby:
"I was disappointed with the fact they actually dominated in spells.
"However, good teams don't always play well but they get the results and today we showed that.
"We had a lot of long balls to deal with, a lot of long throw-ins to deal with and a lot of corner kicks to deal with, but defensively we were on it and so I was pleased with that."
Macclesfield Town manager Gary Simpson told BBC Radio Manchester:
"Coming off their players are saying it's (Vinny Mukendi's red card) never a sending off. I'd be a bit embarrassed if I had officiated this game today.
"A tremendous performance, the result just wasn't there but they worked their absolute socks off.
"We're picking up injuries left, right and centre so we might just have to have a look see if we can bring someone in."