Sole power supplier Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has urged its industrial customers to shift production from peak hours to off peak hours to save on energy and maximise on revenue.
The advice by Escom comes against the background of massive load shedding campaign, which will run from August to January next year due to what Escom said is low water levels on Lake Malawi and Shire River, the major sources of water for hydro power generation.
Escom business development and marketing manager Wiseman Kabwazi gave the advice yesterday in Mzuzu at an industrial stakeholders meeting to sensitise the industry on the benefits of industrial tariff.
Escom charges K43.50 per unit during peak hours and K12.34 per unit during off-peak hours, which means that if industries are to heed the parastatal’s advice, they would be saving K31.16 per unit if they shift production to off-peak hours.
Kabwazi noted that most companies do not use power during off peak hours which leads to excess power on the grid, saying Escom would want them to utilise the off peak power for Escom to improve on quality of supply and for the industries to reduce operational costs.
He said currently, Escom switches off its generation plants during off peak hours as it has 40 to 50 percent available power during this period, adding that demand goes down to less than 200 megawatts (MW) on average in off peak hours and picks up again to 348MW during peak hours.
National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) Mzuzu depot manager Michael Gondwe, who was one of the participants at the meeting, said they have been complaining to Escom in the past on its pricing and billing system. He said their concerns were answered during the meeting.
Gondwe said the proposal would work for bakeries but not NFRA, which runs its machines 24 hours.
The off-peak hours are from 12 pm to 5 pm and from 8 pm throughout the night weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays.