Power Industry Getting Punished in Peak Hours

Electricity demand surges between 7:00 pm until midnight.Electricity demand surges between 7:00 pm until midnight.

Maintaining steady supply of electricity during the peak hours costs the power industry roughly $7 billion annually, said Hossein Sabouri, the chief executive officer of Tehran Province Electricity Distribution Company.

"Keeping steady flow of electricity during peak hours means $7 billion in additional costs on the treasury, " Sabouri was quoted as saying by IRNA on Monday.

He said the massive amount could be reduced significantly if consumers believe in and uphold the values of judiciousness.

"One year has 8,760 hours with peak electricity demand reaching approximately 300 hours annually. We can significantly pare down maintenance and repair costs for electricity  infrastructure if we consume moderately during the peak hours" which is equal to less than 3.5% of the time in a year.

According to reports, between 2006 and 2010, the national grids experienced the highest power load at nighttime, but peak demand has gradually shifted to summer daylight in the past few years.

Growing power demand in industrial and residential sectors is one important factor.

Consumption reaches record levels in summer as people turn on their cooling systems to alleviate the withering heat. Electricity demand surges between 7:00 pm until midnight. The second-highest period of consumption is between midday and 4:00 in the evening.

Judicious consumption of energy resources is perpetually trumpeted via promotional ads on the national TV as well as banners and billboards, but consumption data show that the call has mostly fallen to deaf ears with increasing numbers of foreign companies making air-conditioners promoting their energy-intensive gadgets.

The government in the last few years has pushed up electricity bills and imposed surcharge on profligate consumers as a last resort to curb consumption. But experts and officials say that electricity prices are still cheap and do not hit consumers in the pocket.

According to Hamid Chitchian, the energy minister, electricity prices in Iran "are the cheapest in the region" and that is why "people are indifferent to the way they use electricity."

Power demand is forecast to hit 56,000 megawatts this summer, up from a record-high of 52,790 MW last year. Some experts say measures to meet demand so far have not been enough and load shedding in some regions could be unavoidable.

"Consumption can easily hit the 56,000-MW mark if people continue to use heedlessly," Sabouri added. Some experts have warned that despite an installed power generation capacity of around 76,000 MW, actual output is insufficient to meet the peak-hour demand.


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