Power shortage forces Venezuela to start rationing electricity

29 April 2015 (Last Updated April 29th, 2015 18:30)

Venezuela has started regulating power use amidst growing demand for electricity following a rising heat wave.

Venezuela has started regulating power use amidst growing demand for electricity following a rising heat wave.

Public sector companies have been instructed to reduce work hours to six from the existing eight hours in the country.

The step is being taken to boost energy efficiency in the region, which has been struggling to meet the growing power demands.

Venezuela Electricity Minister Jesse Chacon was quoted by Reuters as saying: "Within a week, power demand has risen 1,500MW."

"Public sector companies have been instructed to reduce work hours to six from the existing eight hours in the country."

The power system faces stability issues when the energy demand reaches 18,000MW.

Inspection of malls and factories will also begin in order to ensure that reduced power consumption targets are being met.

The country had passed a 2013 resolution which targeted a 10% reduction in power usage.

Average household power consumption in Venezuela is 5,878 kWh annually, which is twice the average use in the region.

The country offers huge subsidies for power costs, which allow consumers to use electricity carelessly and keep air conditioners on for long hours.

Local media reported blackouts in the country on Monday.

Venezuela vice-president Jorge Arreaza was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying: "In a few weeks, hopefully, the climatic situation will improve and we can loosen some of the measures."