IEC urges public to save energy to avoid power cuts

"We are working at full capacity and electricity reserves are very low in light of increasing demand for power during summer days," company says in a statement.

air conditioner 298.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
air conditioner 298.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
As the country endures yet another heat wave, the Israel Electric Corporation is calling on the public to minimize energy consumption in an effort to avoid the power outages that have plagued the country in recent years "We are working at full capacity and electricity reserves are very low in light of increasing demand for power during summer days, which are forecasted to heat up over the next few days," the IEC said on Wednesday. "Any technical problem at one of our power stations is likely to cause power disruptions." In recent years, systemic failures and capacity and maintenance planning failures were the main reasons for the nationwide electricity blackouts during hot summers and cold winters. In expectation of a continued heat wave this week, the IEC is calling on consumers to minimize use of high-energy consumption appliances during peak hours to relieve the national grid and prevent blackouts. Dishwashers, washing machines, baking ovens, electric grills, water heaters and vacuum cleaners are all on the "please-don't-use-list" between noon and five p.m. High-energy appliances are best used during the early morning or late night hours. Furthermore, the IEC is asking people to keep the temperature of air conditioners at around 20 degrees and to have a back-up for sensitive appliances and medical machines. The IEC said it had nearly reached capacity as it expects electricity usage to reach between 9,900 and 10,000 megawatts during lunch time peak hours. The IEC's maximum production capability is 10,700 megawatts. The IEC has warned for years that reserves are lower than required, making it difficult to meet the perpetually increasing demand for power. The manufacturing industry, which accounts for more than 23 percent of total electricity use, would suffer severely from a shortfall of electricity production that could cost industry up to NIS 1 billion.