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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hot weather sees energy usage soar

Electricity consumption in Vientiane reached a record high in March after several days of high temperatures in the city.
A peak load of 216.7MW was recorded on March 19 when the maximum temperature that day was 34.2C.
Workers load a new aircon unit for delivery to a customer.
“The reason for the high load was the greater use of electrical equipment, especially fans and air conditioners,” said Deputy Director General of Electricite du Laos for the Vientiane Region, Mr Soukhonh Chanthone.
Temperatures rose to 35.8C on March 23, and then to 38.2C on April 25.
One major retailer of air conditioners said workers were installing about four 4,800 BTU air conditioners every day. Last year, some 20 large retailers and other small businesses installed an estimated 45,000 air conditioners in Vientiane.
The heat has also resulted in a higher demand for ice. Some ice makers have installed more refrigeration units and are running them for longer to keep pace with demand. Many factories and offices have also installed water coolers for their staff which has also added to the load.
The peak load this year was up 6.28 percent on the same month in 2011 when it peaked at 203.9MW on March 21.
Mr Soukhonh said that at times of peak consumption, power generation was sometimes unable to meet demand. This resulted in insufficient or low voltage, or even an overload and a temporary power outage.
The electricity authorities have assigned extra maintenance teams to stand by to quickly respond in these situations. These measures were implemented early last month and are expected to continue until the end of next month when cooler weather is expected to arrive.
As high temperatures drive up electricity usage, Mr Soukhonh called on members of the public to be on the alert for danger. Consumers should regularly check their electrical equipment and make sure it is in safe working order.
He also advised minimising the use of electricity as much as possible to save energy and avoid hazardous consequences.

By Somxay Sengdara
(Latest Update May 7 , 2012)

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