• Kyodo

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Power demand in eastern and western Japan hit their winter peaks on Friday morning as demand for heating spiked amid the snowy weather, utilities said.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said demand in its area peaked at 48.8 million kilowatts, or 93 percent of its capacity, surpassing the previous peak of 47.95 million kw logged Jan. 15.

A demand level of 95 percent is considered severe, and Tepco said demand was expected to rise further to 49.4 million kw, or 94 percent of capacity, by Friday evening. Kansai Electric Power Co. meanwhile said demand in its area, including Osaka, peaked Friday at 25.24 million kw, equal to 95 percent of its capacity.

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