Increasing use of air-conditioning units adding to the demand during summer

Increasing number of air-conditioning units adding to the spiralling summer loads, officials of the Central Power Distribution Company have a reason to worry.

Despite assurances that there will not be power cuts in the city in view of the ongoing examinations, areas well within the city limits were made part of the load relief schedules recently when there was power shortage. Domestic users from localities such as Kothapet, Saroornagar, Uppal, Gachibowli, Jeedimetla and Kukatpally bore the brunt, and so did the industries across all the regions. However, the supply was restored to normal later with increased availability of power and reduced loads. Though the scarcity is attributed to non-availability of coal and breakdown of generating units, officials are not very certain about continuous supply in future.

Consumption figures exceeding the 20-Million-Unit mark in Metro Zone as early as March 9 are a definite cause for concern. It is expected that consumption would go beyond 25 MU this summer. Of the total demand of 11,640 Megawatts by the State, the CPDCL accounts for over 45 per cent at 5,300 MW. Of this again, 2,200 MW is in demand exclusively by the Greater Hyderabad region.

“Air-conditioning units are the main culprits, whether domestic or commercial. They are adding up to the demand year on year,” informed a senior official from the company.

ToD tariffs

With easy instalment options available, customers are queuing up before the dealers attracted by their zero-initial-payment offer, or payment of mere Rs.500 to procure an AC unit. Split AC, which till recently had not been even in the imagination of the middle-class, is now part of their homes. If consumption remains the same, Time of Day (ToD) tariffs now limited to the industrial sector may be applied to domestic consumers as well in the years to come, the official opines.

Another option entails fixing of frequency-linked gadgets to the AC units. Fixed at the manufacturing stage, these gadgets will alter the wattage consumed by these units depending on the grid frequencies, he says. However, such decision will have to be mooted at policy-making level only.

Keywords: power cut

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