TEPCO supplied by other utilities amid cold spell

Tokyo Electric Power Company is receiving emergency supplies of electricity from utilities in other parts of the country on Thursday, as demand is surging in the Tokyo area amid freezing temperatures.

TEPCO asked for the emergency help for the first time this winter, as snowfall in Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures have driven up demand for electricity for heating in households and offices.

The ratio of demand to TEPCO's supply capacity had risen to 97 percent as of 2 p.m. and is expected to remain high throughout the day.

Three utilities agreed to supply TEPCO with a maximum of 1.22 million kilowatts through 8 p.m. under a national system for helping each other in times of shortages.

The three utilities supplying Hokkaido, Tohoku and Chubu are in a relatively stable supply situation on Thursday, with peak ratios for Thursday expected to hit 91, 90, and 88 percent, respectively.

TEPCO is calling on customers to avoid wasting electricity.