Before electricity was used, oil lamps were used to light houses and streets.
After Naser-a’din Shah returned from his first foreign travel, he had a generator installed in Tehran to supply electricity for Naseriyeh street and the street inside the palace (the current Babe Homayoun), using carbide gas.
The generator was used exclusively to light the streets leading to the palace, but after a few days, the people cut the electricity and the generator was then used exclusively to supply the light of the palace.
The first generators used wood and coal. They were then replaced by diesel generators.
As more and more people began to use electricity, “Office for Lighting Streets” was established in the municipality of Tehran in 1905.
The name of the office was later changed to “Electricity Corporation”, but it was still owned by the municipality. In 1904, the license for Tehran’s electricity was granted to Amin Al-Zarb factory.
In 1906, six months after the order of Constitution was issued, the factory started with a piston steam engine and three steam boilers that used coal. Purchasing a generator from the German A.E.G. with the power of 400 kilowatt and the voltage 220/380 volts, they were ready to accept subscribers. The factory was situated in Cheragh Bargh street (the present Amir Kabir street) and worked from 5 to 7 pm.
Later, other 100-kilowatt steam engines were added. In early 1951, two semi-diesel 50-horse power generators purchased from the Anglo-Belgium company were installed in the factory. As people became more and more aware of the advantages of electricity, private companies became interested in investing in it. Meanwhile, newly established private companies had their own generators.
In 1931, the authorities began to talk about the 24-hour electricity services and they took the initial measures towards this goal. Six years later, on Sep. 16, 1937, a steam plant with four 1600 megawatt units (generating a total of 6400 kilowatt) was purchased from Skoda company in Czechoslovakia, and was installed under the supervision of the municipality in the present site of Tehran Regional Electricity Board at Shohada square. During the years 1939 to 1941, especially from May 1940, when Radio Tehran started, people turned to the radio to hear the news of the war. To obtain more electricity, people asked silo and cement factories and Saltanat Abad Barrack for help. Based on the existing figures, the electricity generated in 1938 was 10.5 million kilowatt, which increased to 15.5 million kilowatt in 1939. Add this to 1.5 million kilowatt generated at Haj Amin Al-Zarb factory. In that year, the population of Tehran was 45000, which means the per capita electricity consumption was 38 KWh. In 2007, the nominal power of Tehran’s electricity was 9613 megawatt; considering the population of Tehran, the annual per capita electricity consumption stood at 65086 KWh. The total nominal power of Tehran’s electricity is generated by 15 steam plants, 67 gas-fueled and combined cycle plants, 8 steam and combined cycle plants and four water plants. In 2007, the gross electricity generated was 40332 million KWh, part of which was consumed by the plants themselves, and the rest was transferred to the network. The electricity of Tehran is transmitted to the nationwide electricity distribution network and large industries through 2457 kilometers of lines of 400 kW, 1819 kilometers of lines and cables of 230 kW, 54 kilometers of lines of 132 kW, 4311 kilometers of lines and cables of 63 kW. The total number of electricity subscribers is 55123230, consuming a total of 30966 million KWh. In 2007, the average consumption of a domestic subscriber was 2613 KWh and the industrial and commercial subscriber was 233364 and 5237 KWh respectively.
The use of gas for domestic purposes in Tehran dates back to 1974. Since 1980s, and specially 1990s, the other cities of Tehran province have also used gas. At present most of the cities (59 out of 62) use gas. By the end of 2009, 4.2 million families (that is, 15 million people) used gas.
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