Summer demand may exceed supply The capital is appealing to national leaders for emergency electricity supplies to tide Beijing over the peak summer season. Official estimates suggest the city's demand for power will be 14 per cent higher than last year, and exceed supply by 700,000 kW. The Beijing municipal government has submitted an emergency report to the National Electricity Grid Company and the National Development and Reform Commission asking for an increase in capacity to 9.2 million kW to meet the capital's minimum power needs. The city has also come up with a range of measures to cut down on consumption. From next month, the use of air conditioners in government buildings will be limited to workday hours and they must be set at 26 degrees Celsius or above. Two dozen hotels are following suit, allowing their indoor air temperature to rise by a degree. A 1-degree change translates to a 6 per cent saving in electricity usage. The city will also impose electricity surcharges in July, August and September. Different charges will be levied for peak-hour and off-peak usage. About 60 per cent of Beijing's electricity is generated in other provinces and those provinces limit their own consumption to ensure Beijing has the supplies it needs. The Beijing Electricity Power Corporation, the capital's electricity operator, has spent 1.26 billion yuan expanding and upgrading the city's grid. Over the next five years 42 billion yuan will be invested in the network. Beijing is not alone in its electricity woes. Twenty-four mainland provinces have had to limit power consumption this year - eight more than last year.