The government on Tuesday announced it will move forward the lifting of its mandatory curb on electricity consumption for large-lot electricity users that has been in place since July 1.
The removal of the restriction will be brought forward from Sept. 22 to Friday in areas devastated by the March 11 disaster, and those in Niigata and Fukushima prefectures that were hit with torrential rain in late July.
These areas are covered by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co.
In other areas served by the two utilities the curb will be lifted Sept. 9.
Under the restriction enforced in line with Article 27 of the Electricity Business Law, about 19,000 large-lot electricity users were required to cut their consumption by 15 percent from their peak-period demand last summer.
The government decided to lift the curb because power demand has remained lower than expected thanks to power-saving efforts by businesses and households.
The lifting of the restriction is also aimed at lessening the impact of the energy-saving measures on industrial production.
The government will continue to call for the 15 percent energy-saving efforts on the part of households and small-lot users.
The government enforced the curb in anticipation of power supply shortages this summer in the aftermath of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant that followed the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
TEPCO's service areas include Tokyo, six prefectures in Kanto, Yamanashi Prefecture and the eastern part of Shizuoka Prefecture. Tohoku Electric Power Co.'s service areas include six prefectures of the Tohoku region plus Niigata Prefecture.