The use of AC s reaches the peak during summer and there is sudden spurt in the demand for power and the power generation companies fail to meet it.

The consumer is not powerless in a crisis situation and can do his/her bit by refraining from the use of energy-intensive appliances during peak demand loads.

While the common thinking is that drop in power generation and the growing demand-supply gap are the causes, the increasing use of appliances, which require high power, like AC s, geysers and washing machines, is said to be fuelling the demand for power and draining the available power resources.

The use of AC s reaches the peak during summer and there is sudden spurt in the demand for power and the power generation companies fail to meet it. They resort to ‘load shedding’ (power cuts) during the peak load timings to meet the demand-supply gap.

Demand Response (DR) is a new technology, being seriously considered by utilities all over the world, to control the ‘consumer demand’ as matching it with ‘generation capacity’ is an expensive proposition. New DR methods envisage ‘partial cuts’, which require some technology to be adopted at the customer location as against the normal method of resorting to ‘power cuts’, which would result in total black out.

A ‘DR pilot project’ has been launched by the AP Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (AP EPDCL) in the city a couple of months ago to create awareness among the consumers on the need to make load analysis and reduce their power consumption during the peak load time.

Bill analysis report

“The customer is given a ‘detailed bill analysis report’ that tells him/her as to how the bill is calculated, type of load (AC/geyser…) consumed in the overall bill and how it compares with the average usage among the neighbours. The consumers are given a report on the analysis to motivate them to conserve energy and profit in the bargain,” says Saytam of NeoSilica Technologies, the company implementing the project.

“The consumers are also given energy saving tips like setting the AC temperature control at 23 degrees – 25 degrees C, which would result in a saving of 60 per cent energy as compared to leaving at the default setting of 16 degrees C and not using the washing machine between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and thereby contributing to reducing the evening peak demand,” he says.

The project would help EPDCL in reducing the overall demand from a given area. “The DR project helps consumers in reducing their power bills besides helping conserve power. They can also call up the EPDCL Customer Care for guidance on the project,” General Manager (Energy Audit) of EPDCL Satyanarayana told The Hindu when contacted.

It’s in our (consumers) hands to judiciously use the available resources or face the prospect of ‘black outs’ by electricity companies to meet the peak demand loads.

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