During the evening hours when power consumption peaks in the State, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) started imposing load-shedding for high-tension (HT) and extra-high tension (EHT) power consumers also on Wednesday.

The imposition of evening load-shedding for HT and EHT consumers is as directed by the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission in an interim order on a petition submitted by the KSEB last month seeking power supply restrictions for all sections of consumers. It will continue till November end, when the commission will review the situation in the power sector in the State and give its final order on the petition.

The commission directed the KSEB to ban the use of electricity for lighting up advertisement hoardings, external illumination of buildings and sales promotion purposes. The KSEB would be free to cut power supply to any consumer using electricity from the grid for such purposes, the commission said.

Thirty-minute cyclical load-shedding was allowed by the commission in all 11-kV feeders twice a day from September 27. This load restriction applicable to all low-tension power consumers also will continue till November end between the periods of the day from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 6.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. Only evening load-shedding will be applicable to HT and EHT consumers.

In the case of a section of the HT and EHT power consumers, such restrictions are not provided for in the power supply agreements with the KSEB. These consumers include ‘continuous process industries.’ The commission urged such consumers to limit their power consumption during the peak evening hours to 75 per cent of their normal average consumption.

“The commission hereby makes a fervent appeal to all electricity consumers, especially the LT IV (industry), LT VIIA (commercial) and domestic high-end category, to reduce electricity consumption to the maximum extent possible and cooperate with the KSEB to tide over the [power] crisis,” the commission said in its order.

It warned the consumers that heavy surcharges awaited them in the second quarter of next financial year if they did not reduce their power consumption to the maximum possible level. The recovery of the additional amount spent by the KSEB to purchase high cost energy during the period from October 2012 to March 2013 will be allowed by the commission as ‘fuel surcharge’ from June, 2013.

In their order, commission members Mathew George and P. Parameswaran directed the KSEB to initiate immediate action for striking medium term and long term power purchase agreements in the power supply market and starting aggressive promotional steps for tapping alternative sources of energy to avoid too heavy a dependence on high-cost liquid power stations.