Power outage schedule confusion reigns

TOKYO, JAPAN - On March 13, Tokyo Electric Power Company Incorporated TEPCO announced that it would be unable to cater to its service area's power demands due to compromised electrical infrastructure and the loss of several key power stations, including Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power stations.

As a result, the company broke its service area into five groups that would undergo scheduled power outages in specified blocks. TEPCO's service area includes Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, as well as the Kanto region of Japan, which is comprised of Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Gunma, Tochigi, Saitama and Ibaraki prefectures.

TEPCO typically provides for a daily 41-gigawatt GW power demand from these areas, but announced on Sunday that it would only be able to provide 31 GW, and called on residents, businesses and industries to cooperate in conserving power to aid in power outages.

Companies that have or are voluntarily suspending operations to aid in power conservation include the following:

• NEC Corporation Tokyo

• Suzuki Motor Corporation Hamamatsu

• Hino Motors Limited Tokyo

• Mitsubishi Motors Corporation Tokyo

• Fuji Heavy Industries Limited Tokyo

• Isuzu Motors Limited Tokyo

• Panasonic Corporation Tokyo

• Nippon Steel Corporation Tokyo

• Kirin Brewery Company Tokyo

However, despite clear announcements and warnings, power outages have not happened at scheduled times in certain areas. Some areas, such as Kofu, Yamanashi, have received mixed announcements of changed times, but have yet to experience any power outages.

Businesses have closed down during power outage times allotted by TEPCO, only to lose significant business. No one is sure of exactly when power outages will take place, and most residents are losing patience with announcements and are beginning to disregard them.


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