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Power demand touches 14,000 MW amid change in consumption pattern
The heatwave combined with the lockdown restrictions has ushered in a new pattern of power consumption in Tamil Nadu. Although the State's peak demand so far is yet to reach the pre-COVID level, the time when power demand peaks is changing. And it is afternoon -- not the evening -- when the residents of the State are consuming electricity the most.
At 3.30 pm on Tuesday, the State's power demand touched 14,343 MW -- the highest during the lockdown, the days after breaching the 13,000 MW mark for the first time. The evening peak demand stood at 13,784 MW. "The power demand has gone up during the afternoon due to an increase in the demand from industries and residents switching on their air conditioners at home with several people continuing to work from home. With the working hours time restrictions in place for the lockdown, the power demand rises in the afternoon and fall in the evening," a senior Tangedco official said.
Due to scorching heat and heatwave conditions prevailing in the State, the domestic power demand is on the rise as people are using air-conditioners and air coolers extensively in the afternoon, the official noted. "Generally, the trend was that people used to switch on domestic air conditioners after returning home from the office or after having dinner. But now, those who are working from home and people in the household are switching on the air conditioners at noon. Those who are in the house may not be willing to tolerate the heat anymore," the official added.
The peak power demand in the State fell by 30 per cent after the three-weeks long lockdown was implemented from May 25 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The power demand which touched 15,664 MW on March 19 was hovering around 10,000 MW – 10,500 MW in April with the industries and commercial establishments remaining shut. The State’s demand was largely driven by domestic and agricultural demand. After the State government allowed the industries to resume operation from May 6, the power demand gradually started increasing.