Re: Mains powered clock
"The real issue is that of less electricity being put into the system than was claimed and is not being provided."
Yes, and that means power was STOLEN.
One of the following probably took place:
a) power generating company(ies) reported more power going onto the grid than was really provided;
b) someone(s)'s tapping power from the system and NOT paying for it
c) equipment seriously malfunctioning (probably not likely)
In the case of 'a', they're being ripped off by one or more power generating companies. SOMEONE is getting the money for "providing" more than was actually on the grid, so I'd guess "follow the money".
In the case of 'b', some marijuana grow houses (or other gross power thieves) tapped directly into the distribution lines somewhere, in a manner that's not being sensed well enough to indicate a problem, and are powering up some large equipment [like growhouse lighting] on a rather massive scale with stolen kilowatts. So an audit of the grid seems to be in order [it was detected down to the region already, so I'd guess "more of the same" to locate it].