Details of the potential crisis were revealed today with Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud heralding a publicity campaign to slash 15 percent from the island's regular electricity usage, or face the consequences.
Officials listed Phuket's 10 largest users of electricity. Like the rest of the island's power addicts, the Top 10 have yet to be told of the coming cutbacks.
The attempt to avoid a crisis has been caused by essential maintenance work on the electricity network on the Thai-Malaysia border, with some southern provinces facing even larger reductions that Phuket's 15 percent.
The worrying time will come between June 13 and July 10 when the supply of natural gas from field A-18 in the Joint Development Area between Thailand and Malaysia in the Gulf of Thailand will be offline.
Phuket Electricity Authorities warned today at the meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall that unless the island's usage is cut by 15 percent then involuntary rationing will be applied across parts of Phuket so the island can cope.
Governor Maitree aims to concentrate on obliging the Top 10 users of power on Phuket to cut their bills. Smaller users will also be asked to help by reducing use of airconditioning and unnecessary lighting.
The Top 10 users of power on Phuket are, according to electricity officials:
1. Central Phuket Festival
2. Jungceylon (split bill)
3. AoT Phuket International Airport
4. REQ Water Service
6. Phuket FantaSea
7. Laguna Banyan Tree Ltd
8. Bangkok Hospital Phuket
9. Eak Chai Distribution
10. Jungceylon (split bill)
Every day across the 14 southern provinces of Thailand, 2450 megawatts of electricity are consumed. But for the month-long essential maintenance, usage has to be reduced.
Phuket is by no means the worst affected, having to shave 15 percent of its power usage or face outages.
Songkhla province will have to cut usage by 29 percent while Surat Thani will be required to save 19 percent.
Some of the recommendations likely to come from the Phuket Governor's office will include only turning the airconditioning on at night, or increasing the temperature by several degrees during the day at least.
Consumption of electricity increases by six percent every year in southern Thailand. Officials say they hope to put the system of saving power to the test on Phuket on June 7.