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13 Apr, 2024 15:36

Ukrainians urged to save power

The country’s energy infrastructure has been badly damaged by Russian airstrikes
Ukrainians urged to save power

Saving electricity should become a habit for Ukrainians due to supply constraints resulting from Russian airstrikes on energy infrastructure, according to Sergey Kovalenko, the head of Yasno power provider. The firm is a subsidiary of DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private power generating company.

His advice followed a Russian missile attack on Trypolsky Thermal Power Plant on Thursday, the largest electricity supplier to the city of Kiev. Ukrainian media said the facility lost 100% of its power generation capacity.

According to Kovalenko, it is important for the entire population to change its power consumption habits in order to maintain balance in the system and not overload the grid.

“Save on consumption during peak hours… From 7 to 10pm. Every single day, please save electricity. Every single day, all through 2024. Make it a habit,” he advised in a post on his Facebook page, giving a number of suggestions on ways to cut electricity use. These included replacing regular light bulbs with LEDs, turning off the light in empty rooms, taking a shower at night, setting the temperature on boilers to minimum and even heating the kettle on a gas stove instead using electric ones.

“The main thing is to take responsibility for the conscious use of energy. We can no longer treat electricity as something that will be with us forever. The desire to become energy efficient… has to be a conscious decision, to become a way of life,” he explained.

Russia began targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in the autumn of 2022 after the bombing of the Crimean Bridge by Kiev’s forces. Since January this year, Ukraine has conducted numerous long-range attacks on Russian infrastructure, including oil depots and refineries, using kamikaze drones. Over the past month, the Russian military has in turn carried out a massive wave of strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities, causing widespread blackouts.

Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko warned people on Friday to prepare for more power outages in the spring-summer period due to maintenance and repairs at the power plants, advising the population to stock up on portable electricity generators. He also warned that power tariffs in the country may be hiked in the coming months.

The government has so far not released exact figures on the extent of the damage to its power plants from Russian strikes, but Galushchenko told Bloomberg this week that it measured in the millions of dollars. According to a recent statement from Maxim Timchenko, head of DTEK, the company lost about 80% of its power generation in Russian strikes carried out in the last week of March, with five of its plants forced to halt operations.18:11

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