Eskom has asked the public to help it “beat the peak” by switching off geysers and non-essential appliances so as to reduce electricity usage.
On Wednesday afternoon, the power parastatal declared a system emergency, saying the national power grid is severely constrained.
The constrained conditions are expected to continue particularly between 5:30pm and 6:30pm.
“Although Eskom has adequate generating capacity to meet the demand during the day, the challenge is over the short sharp evening peak – particularly between 5:30pm and 6:30pm – when electricity demand increase up to 36 000 MW. The increase is predominantly due to the use of space heating, geysers and cooking that takes place during this time.
“Eskom calls on all consumers to delay the usage of heaters and to switch off geysers, pool pumps and all non-essential appliances as the risk of load reduction is high during this period,” it said.
The utility said it remains important for all customers to ‘beat the peak’ from 5pm to 9pm this winter, by maintaining or achieving 10% electricity savings.
“If the demand does not decrease this could result in Eskom invoking its emergency protocols and implementing rotational load reduction.”
Commercial customers, particularly shopping centres and office blocks, can make the biggest difference by switching off non-essential lights and not to leave office equipment such as photocopiers and computers in standby mode after hours, it said.
Should the demand for electricity not decrease, load reduction would be implemented as a last resort to protect the national grid from a total shutdown.
Last week, customers experienced power cuts, this as two units at Duvha and Kendal power stations tripped and a portion of the capacity normally imported from Cahora Bassa became unavailable. – SAnews.gov.za