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01:15 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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Moscow mayor says winter energy deficit could reach 20%

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Moscow's mayor warned Tuesday that the capital could face an energy deficit of 20% this winter, sparking concerns that temporary business closures seen in January could be repeated.
MOSCOW, September 5 (RIA Novosti)-Moscow's mayor warned Tuesday that the capital could face an energy deficit of 20% this winter, sparking concerns that temporary business closures seen in January could be repeated.

"Energy consumption is abnormal at present and the deficit registered in the past is very large," Yury Luzhkov said.

Energy consumption levels in the Russian capital rose to historic highs last winter as the cold snap reached its peak in January-February, when temperatures in Moscow were periodically dropping as low as -32°C (-25.6°F).

Moscow energy utility Mosenergo was forced to cut supplies to some industrial and commercial consumers in order to maintain power and heat deliveries to residential customers and critical services.

"This year this deficit could grow another 8% if Unified Energy System [Russia's electricity monopoly] does not come up with the necessary solutions," Luzhkov said, adding that energy deficit is becoming an urgent problem with the economy's rapid growth.

Luzhkov said he had called a working meeting on September 15-17 to discuss preventive energy-saving measures.