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The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan has called for cooperation for power saving as the supply-demand balance becomes tight amid a cold snap hitting the country.

The industry group said Sunday on its website that it wants customers to cooperate for efficient power consumption by continuing to use heating equipment amid the cold wave while curbing the use of other electric appliances.

Electricity demand for heating has been increasing recently as cold weather continues to hit many regions of the country. In seven regions, mainly in western Japan, on Friday, maximum power demand surpassed the levels believed to be seen once in about 10 years, the federation said.

Meanwhile, there have been days when the amount of electricity generated with solar energy dropped due to bad weather, according to the group.

As of 10 p.m. Sunday, the proportion of power demand to supply capacity came to 98% at Chugoku Electric Power Co., which serves the Chugoku region, and 97% at Kyushu Electric Power Co., whose service area is the Kyushu region.

Power suppliers are accelerating moves to cope with the tough situation, such as increasing thermal power generation, mutually supplying electricity and procuring electricity from businesses having own power generation facilities.

But there are concerns about decreases in inventories of liquefied natural gas, used as fuel for thermal power generation. In addition, cold weather is forecast across the nation on Tuesday, after the three-day weekend, possibly causing the supply-demand balance to become even tighter, industry sources said.

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