The enemy attacks our energy system: why it is important to reduce electricity consumption

October 21, 2022

As long as our struggle continues, we should consume electricity responsibly and stay a staunch fighter of the energy front

For the second week in a row, the Russian army is shelling Ukrainian power plants and other energy infrastructure on the territory of Ukraine. Say, on October 18-19, Russia attacked six large energy facilities: in Kyiv, Dnipro, Kurakhovo, Kryvyi Rih, Burshtyn, and Vinnytsia. In this connection, Ukrainians are urged to limit electricity consumption.

Why is this important?

The power system rests on the principle of an immediate balance between demand and generation, and manoeuvrability is a necessary condition for its stable operation. In case of its violation, there occurs an instant loss of frequency and interruption of power supply.

Flexibility of power supply systems is traditionally provided by power producers (thermal power plants, renewable energy sources, storage systems) that can quickly change generation to respond to consumer needs.

Taking this into account, the aggressor targets power regulation and points of connection to the Ukrainian energy system, which leads to partial loss of the ability to instantly react to changes in consumption.

Our response is to restore the energy system manoeuvrability by managing consumer demand, i.e., changing the load schedule at the dispatcher’s command.

The reserve for saving is mainly found in boilers, heaters, irons and washing machines. Therefore, it is better to change the schedule of using these household appliances.

For example, plan washing or ironing at night. In order to save money, you can also pour exactly as much water into an electric kettle as you will drink.

No matter how dramatic it may sound, in the conditions of a brutal war, we are making progress. In developed countries, demand management has been used for decades, and economy brings money.

The most common model of consumer demand management is to issue licences to companies (aggregators) that pool the power of their consumers and sell it at the right time in the energy market balancing segment.

For example, demand management programmes in the USA have been used since the oil crisis of 1970s. The first model involved introduction of electricity rates differentiated with account of peak load hours.

An impetus for the implementation of demand management programmes in the Japanese energy market was given by the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in 2011. After that incident, pilot projects were implemented in the retail segment, where 10 specialised aggregator companies operate that, using the technology of virtual power plants, manage the schedule of industrial and commercial consumers and sell the service of load reduction in the market of auxiliary services and balancing reserves.

The Japanese market of demand management tripled in 2022, compared to 2017, and reached 5 GW of consumer load-shedding capacities. Blockchain technologies and new configurations of intelligent energy networks, which we will definitely implement after Ukraine’s victory, became the driver of growth.

But as long as our struggle continues, we should consume electricity responsibly and stay a staunch fighter of the energy front.

There are millions of us. Grateful to everyone. Let's stand and win.


Maksym Bielawski

Leading Expert, Energy Programmes

Born in 1986 in Zhytomyr oblast


Zhytomyr State Technological University (2008)

Ph.D in Technical Science (2010)

Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas (2012)

Author of 17 patents and 100 scientific works

Work Experience:

2008 – 2011 — Operator of Gas Infrastructure Units, Controller of Gas Transmission System in Rivne Division of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2011 – 2017 — Leading Engineer, Deputy Head of Press-Service, Head of Public Relation Department of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2017 – 2018 — HR Director of PJSC "Maine Gas Pipelines of Ukraine", Advisor to the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine

2021 — Director of Integrated Communications of NJSC "Naftogaz of Ukraine"