Consumers switch off air-conditioners with the respite from heat

With the monsoon vigorous since its onset, power consumption in the State has dropped by almost 20 per cent from mid-May — from 58.09 million units on May 15 to 48.42 million units on June 17.

Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) officials now say the big drop reveals that air-conditioners, rather than the much-maligned induction cookers, were consuming more power during the summer months. As the rising temperature became unbearable, many bought air-conditioners for relief.

Even when the Board initiated measures to bring down consumption during the drought, more than 55 million units of power was pulled from the grid every day. Load shedding, an increase in power tariff and the Labha Prabha scheme to provide concessions to consumers who reduced consumption did not help.

Statistics provided by the KSEB Engineers’ Association show the power demand dropped from 2,891 MW on May 15 to 2,731 MW on June 17. The corresponding figures for hydroelectric power generation in the State are 8.55 million units and 14.23 million units, respectively.

Power consumption has been falling steadily from May 31 as the monsoon began to progress. During mid-April, the consumption even touched 60 million units a day. On May 31, the consumption was 51.45 million units.

While on May 15, the inflow into the Idukki dam reservoir was sufficient to generate only 0.08 million units, the inflow on June 15 soared enough to generate 37.23 million units, statistics show. The water level in the reservoir rose from 701.74 metres on May 31 to 705.02 metres on June 17. On the corresponding day last year, the level was 700.61 metres.