Call to save electricity as heat strains energy supply


The government issued a warning to households and businesses to conserve energy between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on June 27 as the sweltering heat continued for a third day.

The guideline, issued the day before as a precautionary measure against power outages, applies to areas served by Tokyo Electric Power Co. These guidelines are issued when the electricity reserve rate, or percentage of unused electricity, is expected to fall below 5%.

Officials said continued unseasonal hot weather would likely drop the rate to less than 5% as users battle the searing heat with air conditioning. The warm weather is expected to last for some time.

A reserve ratio of at least 3% is essential to ensure a stable supply of electricity, officials said.

According to a forecast by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry at 4 p.m. on June 26, the areas in question will have an acceptable level of electricity supply until shortly after noon on June 27.

However, he said that with thermal power plants not producing enough electricity, the electricity reserve ratio is expected to fall between 3.7 and 4.7 percent from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on June 27.

That alone is enough to warrant a tight electricity supply warning.

The government decided in May that it would issue a warning the day before when it expected electricity supplies to be tight the next day.

At the end of March, it issued a “strained electricity supply alert” for the first time for the Kanto and Tohoku regions.

The government issues the alert when the electricity reserve rate is expected to fall below 3%.

However, it decided to issue warnings when the electricity supply outlook is tight, but not bad enough to warrant an alert, so as not to disrupt social activities abruptly.

Another concern is the increase in cases of heat stroke.

“We ask the public to use air conditioners appropriately and refrain from using lighting unnecessarily,” a ministry official said.


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