Vietnam PM Pham Minh Chinh has called on the public to conserve electricity, as prolonged and record heat has dried up hydropower dams and resulted in severe power shortage.
In a directive released Thursday on electricity saving, he warns that the power situation is challenging now and will remain so in the coming years with demand increasing.
Economical and efficient use of electricity is the solution to ensuring energy security, the directive says.
People should use energy-efficient electrical equipment, switch off electrical devices when leaving the room, only use air conditioners when absolutely necessary but setting them at not less than 26 degrees Celsius.
People should avoid using incandescent light bulbs and install rooftop solar power systems.
The country should reduce electricity use by 2% a year and power losses in transmission lines to less than 6% by 2025.
By 2030 at least 50% of all office and residential buildings should use rooftop solar power.
Only LED bulbs should be used in street lights by 2025.
To achieve the goals, government agencies must coordinate with local power companies to develop electricity saving plans and promulgate energy-saving regulations to reduce consumption by 5% a year.
Government workers should conserve electricity, and this should be among the criteria for their annual assessment.
Outdoor advertising and decoration businesses need to use energy-saving lamps, automatic control and solar energy.
Restaurants, hotels, other commercial establishments, office complexes, and apartment buildings must turn off or at least halve advertising lights and outdoor decorations.
Commercial and service establishments need to disseminate power-saving information to customers, and encourage the use of renewable energy.
Businesses are encouraged to sign up voluntarily to save electricity and use rooftop solar power and limit the use of high-wattage appliances during peak hours.
Facilities that consume one million kilo-watt hours (kWh) or more of electricity per year must conserve at least 2%, the directive said.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade was asked to develop a program to encourage businesses and households to use rooftop solar.
Tran Viet Hoa, director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority, said supply in the north (including imported electricity) is equivalent to 17,500-17,900 MW while demand is about 20,000 MW and could reach 23,500-24,000 MW during hot periods.
The region thus faces a daily shortfall of 30.9 million kWh on average, rising to 50.8 million kWh during peak days and EVN has been cutting power in the north unannounced.
Under the impact of the El Nino phenomenon, which causes less rains and more heat, this year the north has been experiencing heat waves that sometimes sent temperatures climbing to 40 degrees Celsius.