Tehran orders load shedding to deal with surging use

Power will go out for two hours at a time in staggered stoppages across Tehran province as Iranian authorities grapple with a surge in electricity usage during a heat wave.

In a notification that upbraided some consumers for cranking up their air conditioners, the provincial electricity utility sent out a table outlining its rolling blackouts. Temperatures have soared beyond 40 degrees Celsius.

Similar timetables may be published for five other Iranian provinces, the Donya-e-Eghtesad newspaper reported on Sunday, citing Deputy Energy Minister Mahmoud-Reza Haghi-Fam.

The power outages are the latest attempt by Iranian authorities to curb power usage that has gone up about 7% compared with the previous year. While blackouts aren’t unprecedented in Iran’s scalding summers, they’ve been more frequent this year.

In a related step, Tehran province’s governor, Mohammad-Hossein Moghimi, announced Friday that government offices, banks and public service institutions would work earlier hours over the next two weeks in an effort to reduce electricity consumption, ISNA reported. Public transportation will also start earlier, Moghimi said.

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