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Baking Beijing hits energy demand highs

Updated: 07 14 , 2015 09:17
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BEIJING -- The current heat wave has pushed energy use in Beijing to an all-time high, the local power company said on Monday.

Peak load in Beijing hit 18.3 million kilowatts (kW) at 4:33 p.m. Monday, breaking the previous high of 17.8 million kW in 2013, according to State Grid Beijing Electric Power Company.

Li Jie, a company engineer, blamed the high demand mainly on air conditioners, as temperatures have crept ever higher over the last three days. A national regulation restricts air conditioners to temperatures no lower than 26 degrees, but the rule is not widely implemented.

The company predicted that the power load could reach 19.8 million kW, 12 percent more than same period last year, if the sweltering temperatures continue for more than a week.

"Our facilities are in good condition, but there are some issues," Li said, and the company has intensified supervision of grid operations as any breakdown could lead to serious problems.

Beijing's heat wave began on Saturday when temperatures soared to more than 35 degrees Celsius where they have remained ever since.

The local meteorological bureau warned that the scorching weather is likely to end on Wednesday with the temperatures dropping to 30 degrees Celsius.