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EghtesadOnline: Power load peaked at all-time high of 58,104 megawatts on Saturday, up 330 MW compared to the highest recorded in 2019, spokesman for the Energy Ministry said.

“This consumption is the highest since records were kept a century ago,” Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi told ISNA.

The new record comes as summer temperatures rise nationwide. The mercury in Tehran and other cities with relatively moderate climate has been bordering 38 degrees Celsius in the past few days and the weatherman has forecast more heat for the rest of the week. Khuzestan is experiencing 51 degrees and state organizations and companies are closed.

Higher temperatures will persist and the Energy Ministry has improvised with rolling outages across the country including the capital, the official said. 

Power consumption is predicted to surpass 60 gigawatts in the coming days.

Last year the highest registered peak demand was 57,810 MW. The national grid can sustain peak usage of 58,000 MW without outages.

“If consumers use power wisely and adjust their cooling systems to the global standard of 24-26 degrees, peak electricity demand can be handled with less problems.”

Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) said Sunday to assist power supply during peak hours (between 12 noon and 6 p.m.) all cooling systems in state organizations will be shut after 12 p.m. for the next few days.

Energy Ministry data show that Iran's demand for power jumps almost 7% every year and this is 4% above global average.

Such imprudence has made Iran the 18th largest power consumer in the world.



Rethinking Patterns

In related news, ISNA quoted Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian as saying that consumption patterns must be reconsidered by adopting efficient strategies, one of which is to rethink the existing unsustainable patterns with the involvement of the Education Ministry.

“Hardwiring the culture of judicious consumption is a long-term process and the desired results cannot be achieved without training our children from schooldays.”

Rajabi Mashhadi said there is a disconnect between the two ministries, and including energy-related lessons in school curriculum will help children not only to value energy  resources, namely power and water, but also use them with outmost care.

Large budgets are allocated to promote judicious consumption of water and power on national TV and radio. Nonetheless, teaching water and energy-related subjects in schools helps as seen in several countries like Japan.



Free Electricity Criticized

Referring to the government decision to exempt schools from paying water and electricity bills, the minister reiterated that the decision would push up consumption in schools.

As per a government proposal, schools that use water and electricity within a certain limit will be exempt from paying bills in the current fiscal year that started in March.

“In our view it is an incorrect policy to provide free electricity and water. But we must respect the decision of the parliament,” he said.

Elaborating his stance, the minister said that so long as schools are entitled to free water and electricity “students will not appreciate the true value of invaluable resources.”

The Energy Ministry is willing to help schools cover a part of their water and electricity bills, but (based on past experience) supplying schools free energy will actually have a negative effect on schoolchildren. 

When water and electricity is consumed freely and excessively in schools, “it would obviously be difficult to convince children to use energy wisely,” he noted.

Despite the fact that in the previous fiscal a group of MPs were convinced that the plan’s (free water and power for schools) drawbacks outweigh its benefits, the Mjalis remained unconvinced and legalized free water and power for all schools for one year from March 2020.


Energy power megawatts