Gov’t turns on power restrictions to avoid shutting off power

07/01/2011
By

TOKYO (majirox news) — Major electricity consumers in areas supplied by the Tokyo and Tohoku electric power companies from Friday must cut electricity use by 15% compared with last summer to save power and try to avoid blackouts.

Average households and small- and medium-sized businesses are being asked to strive for the same reduction under the government’s invocation of Article 27 of the Electricity Business Law.

Major consumers found to have exceeded permissible limits will be liable for maximum fines of 1 million yen for each offense while under restrictions, which last until Sept. 22 in areas serviced by the Tokyo Electric
Power Co. (TEPCO) and Sept. 9 for Tohoku Electric Power Co.

With nuclear power reactors being halted in succession, power-saving movements are being carried out nationwide, including a request by those in the Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) service area to cut electricity consumption by 15%.

Power restrictions will apply to operations consuming 500 kilowatts of energy or more in an area serviced by either TEPCO or Tohoku Electric Power. These consumers – located in Tokyo, the remaining six prefectures on the Kanto Plain, Yamanashi Prefecture and eastern Shizuoka Prefecture – are legally obliged to reduce power use by 15% compared to summer last year. The restrictions will apply from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) on Thursday announced procedures to be followed if excess electricity use poses the threat of large-scale blackouts. Procedures are as follows:

  • Issue an Impending Power Supply Alert to TEPCO and Tohoku Electric Power service areas on afternoons of days before power supply is forecast to reach about 97% of capacity.
  • Advise supply areas of the possibility of blackouts when power capacity climbs to about 99%, and call for implementation of through power-saving efforts.
  • Issue a second warning on mornings when power supply reserves are short and inform people of whether there will be blackouts.

kenji@majiroxnews.com

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