by Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality

Ekurhuleni warns of load shedding

Energy demand skyrockets in winter

Ekurhuleni has warned its consumers of possible load shedding due to the increase in demand.
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Most of the country experienced cold weather this week which has increased the country's use of electricity.

Ekurhuleni Metro’s spokesperson, Sam Modiba has confirmed that the municipality has published a load shedding schedule on its website which consumers can print out to see how they will be affected in the event power supply has to be shed.

“We are advising consumers to use electricity wisely by taking practical steps like switching geysers off during peak hours, switching off lights  in rooms that are not occupied, using gas heaters  instead of electric ones  etc,” explains Modiba.

Load shedding happens when there is insufficient power station capacity to supply the demand (load) from all the customers; the electricity system could become unstable, possibly resulting in a national black-out.

To avoid this, Eskom can either increase supply or reduce demand.

To increase supply, Eskom will run its power stations at maximum available capacity.

In addition to the coal and nuclear plant, hydro and open cycle gas turbine stations are used at peak times when the demand is high.

To reduce demand, Eskom will first call on customer contracts that allow for supply to be reduced or interrupted for specific periods and durations.

If this is not enough, Eskom is forced to cut supply to all other customers.

This could be done through either scheduled or emergency load shedding.

“During scheduled load shedding parts of the network are switched off according to a predetermined schedule, with the impact spread equitably over the customer base.

"Shedding is predictable and allows for customers to plan accordingly,” Modiba points out.

Modiba cautions that in exceptional circumstances additional emergency load shedding could be required. Control centres will shed load using emergency switching in order to protect the network.

This will be less predictable and all customers can expect to be affected at any time from no onwards till the winter season passes.

Consumers are advised to treat all network points as being electrically alive in the event of load shedding.

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