Country sweats as power demand nears capacity

Electricity levels remain at alarming "orange" level as heat wave continues.

July 19, 2012 05:44
1 minute read.
Sunshine in Israel

sun, sunshine in Israel_390. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

As the country dripped with sweat, electricity levels remained at an alarming “orange” level from morning to evening on Wednesday, with demand very closely approaching production capacity levels.

As of 10 a.m., the Israel Electric Corporation warned that production capacity would be about 11,900 megawatts, while expected demand would be 11,800 megawatts during peak hours. Similar to the company’s recurring requests throughout the ongoing heat wave, the IEC requested that the public refrain from using energy-intensive machines until after 5 p.m.

At 1 p.m., the IEC announced that the demand for electricity was rapidly approaching production capacity, at 11,850 megawatts, and once again reiterated that customers should reduce their power consumption immediately and that power cuts could occur from 2- 4 p.m.

Initially, officials from the Finance Ministry reported losing power beginning at about 3 p.m., with a warning call only about five minutes before, a ministry representative told The Jerusalem Post around 3:30 p.m. This had required the ministry to run the office on generators, the representative said.

However, about three hours later, the Finance Ministry spokesman’s office issued a clarification, explaining that, like other organizations, the ministry had received a warning that outages could possibly occur between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The ministry decided to proactively connect generators, even though a stoppage in the power supply never actually occurred, the clarification said.

On the same hot day, the Public Utility Authority (PUA) announced the end of the registration period for its “Savings Earned” program, a joint initiative with the Energy and Water Ministry that has attracted 181,000 electricity consumers, representing a scope of over 600,000 residents, throughout the country.

Customers who signed up for the program, which encourages conservation from June to September, receive a 10 percent reduction on their electricity bill for decreasing consumption by between 15% and 20%, and a 20% reduction for decreasing consumption by between 20% and 30%, the PUA said.

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