Companies work to conserve electricity

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

Companies took various steps to deal with a power crunch Monday amid the brutal heat, in response to the tight supply in areas served by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry announced that it might raise the current power crunch advisory — issued over a possible supply-demand imbalance between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Monday — to a warning.

It was extremely hot in the Kanto region from Monday morning, and demand for electricity was expected to increase due to the use of air conditioners.

TEPCO Power Grid Inc. said the power consumption rate was already at 96% of supply as of 9 a.m. A forecast made at 10:50 a.m. indicated the figure would hit 98% during a peak period from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

At around 5 p.m., when the sun sets, the output of solar power generation was expected to drop to about one-third of that at noon. However, demand from businesses and households would not decline, so the power supply was expected to remain tight.

In response to the ministry’s advisory, Seven-Eleven Japan Co. asked about 8,800 stores in Tokyo and eight prefectures — mainly in the Kanto region — to conserve electricity between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Monday, by turning off fryers and toilet seat warmers. It also asked them not to restock beverages during that time.

Mitsui Fudosan Co., which operates LaLaport commercial complexes, was to dim some lights in complexes’ common areas and raise temperature settings. Their tenant stores were also urged to conserve electricity.

Hitachi Ltd. had not taken any special measures, but should the energy supply become tight, it planned to temporarily suspend some production and test facilities, or shift operating hours to avoid power consumption at peak times.