Thiruvananthapuram: With Keralites looking to beat the summer amid an intense heatwave gripping the state, the power demand has suddenly witnessed a steady rise over the last few days as reservoirs have started to dry up.
Households face the prospect of meting out inflated electricity bills this summer as the state will be forced to purchase power from outside at higher rates to tide over a looming crisis.
The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission already gave a nod to distribution companies to charge up to Rs 50 per unit for the sale of such power.
The other day, peak electricity usage rose to 4284 Megawatts. The internal power generation using water from dams may not be sufficient to meet the rising demand. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) will then pass the additional burden to consumers in the form of surcharges.
This is unless there is a marked cut in power consumption during the peak hours from 7 pm to 11 pm.
The state is under the grip of an intense heat wave with mercury breaching the 40 degrees Celsius mark in many places. On Thursday, the power consumption in the state was a high 86.20 million units. And on three days this month, the consumption was over 85 MU. The all-time record usage, though, was on April 28 last year when the state consumed 92.88 MU.
The water level at Idukki Dam registered the lowest in the last six years. Currently, the reservoir has only 47 per cent water as against 70 per cent during the same period last year.