More AC usage driving up electricity demand; GPL says consumers must conserve

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The Guyana Power and Light (GPL) anticipates that electricity demand on the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) – its largest consumer area – will grow by almost 40 per cent this year.

Driving that increase is the cross-country development engendered and supported by the growing oil and gas sector.

It includes more hotel occupancy, new housing areas, more office buildings, new industrial sites, expansion in manufacturing, and much more.

GPL’s Generation Manager Abdul Yusuf believes that common among the new development is increased usage of air conditioning units. This he reasoned was a major contributing factor to the increased demand for electricity.

Yusuf said the demand on the DBIS peaked at 135 megawatts last year but already for this year the demand has peaked at 145 megawatts.

GPL’s Generation Manager Abdul Yusuf (Photo: News Room/March 23, 2022)

“That is simply because we are seeing a lot of development happening now,” Yusuf said while assuring that GPL was doing internal work to cater to the increased demand.

The peak demand for electricity this year is anticipated to go up to 180 megawatts.

“It’s going to go up because throughout the country things going up, people are putting up houses, trying to put up workshops, things are happening,” Yusuf added.

He said GPL’s current installed capacity is 220 megawatts, however, just about 170 – 180 megawatts are available currently.

The Generation Manager said the utility company will work to ensure generators that are currently out of operation are back to functioning capacity.

He anticipates that by the end of the year the company will have adequate generation to meet the demand as well as some reserved capacity.

“For example, at Skeldon, we have five megawatts but that’s out because of a problem. We expect to fix that and bring it back online by mid-2022,” Yusuf explained; Skeldon Enegery Inc is the company GPL purchases power from.

He said a similar situation exists at Onverwagt, Region Five which will be addressed shortly.

Yusuf said GPL continues to ensure the timely acquisition of reliable spares and on-schedule maintenance of its more than 44 generators countrywide, some in operation for well over 25 years.

GPL has consistently asked its consumers to save energy while offering tips to do so such as turning off appliances when not in use and using timer features to set usage to schedule times.

Additionally, consumers are advised to invest in systems with higher energy efficiency.

Specific to the use of AC units, GPL advises:

  • Select air conditioners based on the size of the area to be cooled
  • When purchasing new air conditioning units, request the more efficient model
  • Do not set air conditioner thermostats to the lowest setting e.g. 16oC but to moderate levels like 20oC to allow efficient operation.
  • Occupancy sensors can be used to control AC units in areas where they may be inadvertently left on.
  • Central air conditioners are typically more efficient than comparable split units.
1 Comment
  1. Sandra Monize says

    Consumers have the right to use the electricity for whatever purpose they want because they are paying.
    The provider has to do its job.

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