In order to be prepared for various risks, such as the shutdown of large-capacity power sources or large-scale disasters, we make consistent efforts to ensure supply capability, improve our facilities and equipment, and take appropriate measures to prevent disasters.
The operation of Shika Nuclear Power Station has been suspended for a prolonged period, compelling us to operate our thermal power stations at high utilization rates. In order to ensure our supply capability under these circumstances, we take every possible measure to inspect the facilities, including petitioning the national government for deferred regular inspection periods, shortening the inspection periods, and conducting short mid-term inspections, as well as avoiding the peak periods of demand in summer and winter as much as possible for inspection dates.
With the aim of improving our preparedness and responsiveness for large-scale disasters, as well as confirming cooperation with the back-office operation team, we conduct an annual field training exercise for responding to emergency disasters.
We also conduct various other exercises, including ones conducted in collaboration with Japan's Self-Defense Forces, such as establishing a base meeting place and accepting the recovery support team, thus striving to promote mutual cooperation on a day-to-day basis for smooth teamwork in the event of disasters.
We conduct maintenance, management, and operation work on our power transmission and distribution equipment. Additionally, because replacement work for the facilities and equipment installed in the high-growth period of the Japanese economy will eventually reach a peak, we work to even out our long-term replacement plans, and to secure a work execution system for maintaining equipment functions.
In July of 2015, we established a corporate group called E League Hokuriku with companies that carry out transmission and distribution equipment works for Hokuriku Electric Power Company, and are working to secure and develop human resources for transmission and distribution equipment works. Through close cooperation, we will continue endeavoring to provide a stable supply of electricity.
We have entered into joint research agreements with universities and manufacturers, and are conducting research to develop robots for works on power distribution facilities. We are currently proceeding with the development of assistive robots (assist arms) to assist workers, and aim to automate distribution equipment works in the future, for improved work efficiency, labor savings, and easing workers' workloads.
We plan to complete our systematic installation of smart meters at all customers' homes by March of 2024 (approx. 200,000 units per year). We utilize smart meter functions that contribute to efficient use of electricity, to help improve our customer service.