Power consumption hits record high as Vietnam swelters under heat wave

By Anh Minh   June 5, 2017 | 03:55 pm GMT+7
Power consumption hits record high as Vietnam swelters under heat wave
Electrical workers repair power poles and cables during a hot morning in Hanoi to ensure enough power supply for locals on June 5, 2017. Photo by VnExpress/Thu Ngan

Air conditioners and fans have been going at full blast as locals take cover.

Vietnamese people have been draining the national power grid in an effort to keep cool over the past few days as temperatures climb to record highs, especially in the north.

Nationwide power consumption was measured at 630 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) last Friday, up 11.8 percent over the previous week, according to the country’s power monopoly Vietnam Electricity (EVN).

In the north, electricity output reached 290 million kWh that day, up 10 percent from last year.

In Hanoi, the hottest part of the country since early June, local residents used up to 70 million kWh of electricity last Saturday, an increase of 8 million kWh from two days before.

This is a 163-percent rise compared to the average level for May and a 127-percent rise against the same period last year.

EVN has made preparations and there will be no power shortages, said Nguyen Duc Ninh, an EVN official.

“This is just the first heat wave to hit this year, and EVN predicts higher power consumption as the temperature rises,” Ninh added.

But he also calls on local residents to use electricity efficiently and economically to reduce the pressure on the power sector.

On Saturday the Ministry of Industry and Trade said the government has no immediate plan to hike power prices.

The demand for cooling devices has also been growing alongside the temperature over the past few days.

Data from Google Trends revealed that key words for such devices, including air conditioners and steam cooling fans, surged over the weekend in Vietnam.

“Sales of air conditioners rose 4-5 times to 120 units per day over the past week,” the owner of a store on Ha Dong District told VnExpress.

On Saturday afternoon, the temperature in Hanoi hit 41.5 degrees Celsius, the highest since 1971.

On Monday morning, a 70-year-old woman fainted while driving a motorbike on Xa Dan Street in Hanoi and died just a few minutes later.

Doctors at Bach Mai Hospital said the intense heat in the city may have been the cause of her sudden death.

Meteorologists forecast that the heat wave in Hanoi will last until Tuesday.