Elec­tric­ity use hits new record amid ris­ing heat


As in­tense heat drove peo­ple to turn on cool­ing de­vices, the na­tion’s elec­tric­ity use yes­ter­day was pegged at 3,257.46 kilo­watts as of 1:51 p.m., a record high for the year, re­ported Tai­wan Power Com­pany (Taipower, ).

Tem­per­a­tures in Keelung and Taipei yes­ter­day reached as high as 35.9 and 35.7 de­grees Cel­sius, re­spec­tively, and the ab­sence of rain has made the heat even more sti­fling, said the Cen­tral Weather Bureau.

It was the third time in a week that the na­tion’s elec­tric­ity use hit new records. With ris­ing tem­per­a­tures, Taipower’s me­ters reg­is­tered record-high num­bers two days in a row, on June 2 and June 3. Elec­tric­ity use peaked at 3,163 and 3,224.6 kilo­watts on the two days.

High fig­ures recorded this week were out of or­di­nary, as elec­tric­ity use usu­ally peaked in July and Au­gust in past years.

The elec­tric­ity re­serve mar­gin — the gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity avail­able to meet short-term de­mand if a gen­er­a­tor goes down — was recorded at 5.12 per­cent yes­ter­day.

The fig­ure, which has dropped fur­ther from the 6 per­cent recorded on June 3, is alarm­ing low and sig­ni­fies higher chances of a gov­ern­ment- im­posed ra­tioning.

It was largely the re­sult of yes­ter­day’s higher elec­tric­ity use, Taipower said, adding that a pri­vate util­ity plant’s gen­er­a­tor mal­func­tion was also to blame.


Power Ra­tioning Looms

Ex­pe­ri­ence shows when the re­serve mar­gin reaches be­low 7.4 per­cent, at least one manda­tory power re­stric­tion will be im­posed in a given year.

Taipower warned ear­lier that in­creas­ing power use and gen­er­a­tor wear-down are likely to ren­der elec­tric ra­tioning by 2019.

If the na­tion’s nu­clear power plants re­tire based on the planned sched­ule, the re­serve mar­gin will fall to neg­a­tive val­ues in 2023 and 2024, Taipower fore­cast.

Power out­ages will be in­evitable when the re­serve mar­gin ar­rives at neg­a­tive val­ues. This may not hap­pen, how­ever, if the gov­ern­ment pushes for con­ser­va­tion mea­sures while tap­ping new en­ergy sources, Taipower said.

Higher Elec­tric Bills in


Util­ity con­sump­tion typ­i­cally surges in sum­mer months as peo­ple turn on air con­di­tion­ing to com­bat hot weather.

Higher elec­tric rates were just in­tro­duced on June 1 as Taipower em­ploys more costly gen­er­a­tors to cope with higher elec­tric­ity de­mand.

For house­holds that use 330 kilo­watt hours a month, they will pay NT$ 800 a month, NT$ 65 higher than what they pay in non-sum­mer months.

For house­holds that use 500 kilo­watt hours a month, their elec­tric bill will in­crease by NT$184 to NT$1,480.

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