The HCM City Electricity Corporation encourages households to instal rooftop solar panels and now there are 475 of them connected to its grid with a total capacity of nearly 5.3MW.
Due to its climate and population, HCM City is the biggest electricity consumer in Vietnam, Pham Quoc Bao, deputy general director of the corporation, was quoted as saying by the Government website.
In the first half of this year demand increased by 7 per cent year-on-year, he said.
The corporation has exhorted consumers to save electricity by turning off all unnecessary devices.
To prevent overloading the grid, it has warned them not to use many devices at the same time, especially during peak hours.
In 2016 –17 the city saved 800 million kWh, equivalent to VND1.5 trillion (US$66.6 million) under an electricity saving programme.
The corporation is also persuading residents to install and use solar energy.
“It is renewable, eternal, and environmental friendly energy,” Bao added.
“Solar energy does not create noise or smoke, costs nothing to generate and maintenance costs little.
“Besides, people can sell their surplus solar energy.”
The corporation therefore connects consumers’ solar energy systems with the electrical grid and instals two-way meters for free.
With these meters, electricity company staff can measure both the electricity that consumers draw from the grid and the power they sell to it.
It pays them VND2,000 (9.35 cent) per kWh.
The corporation has also set up solar panels at its 16 subsidiaries’ headquarters, and plans to expand it by installing them at all its offices.
It has urged the Ministries of Industry and Trade and Finance to create a legal framework for signing electricity buying contracts with customers.
It has asked the city People’s Committee to instruct industrial parks, processing zones, high-tech parks, schools, hospitals, and all State offices to instal solar panels.