World Cup sends Thai electricity bills soaring

BANGKOK, June 28, 2006 (AFP) – Football-mad Thais are spending millions of dollars more on electricity this month as they stay up through the night to watch World Cup matches, the nation’s biggest utility said Wednesday.

In the first 19 days of the World Cup, Thailand spent an extra 304.4 million baht (7.9 million dollars) on power compared to average use during the year, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand said.

EGAT said it noticed a similar spike during the last World Cup in 2002, which was held in Asia, when Thailand consumed an extra 171.6 million baht (4.48 million dollars) of electricity through round two of the tournament.

The company said it believed the most-watched match so far was the second-round clash between Germany and Sweden, when electricity use spiked to the highest level of the month.