Eskom declares power emergency

2014-02-20 15:23

Major industrial customers are urged to reduce electricity consumption by at least 10% today as Eskom declared a power emergency.

“The power system is severely constrained today due to the loss of additional generating units from our power station fleet, reduced imports and the extensive use of emergency reserves,” Eskom said.

This has forced Eskom to declare an emergency, in accordance with its regulatory protocols, to protect the national power grid.

Eskom published load-shedding schedules for its direct customers on its website, but said these were only “a precautionary measure”.

“While we will make every effort to avoid load-shedding, we are hopeful that by applying these measures, coupled with support from all electricity consumers, we will achieve the required load reduction necessary to protect the national grid.”

The state of emergency will remain in place until 9pm when the situation will be reviewed.

“We have alerted our key industrial customers and have required them to reduce their load by a minimum of 10% as from 2pm [on Thursday].”

Shopping centres and retail outlets have been asked to switch off geysers and adjust air-conditioning to 23°C to help reduce demand.

“As workers leave office buildings this evening, we ask that they please switch off lights, with the exception of security lighting, and avoid leaving on air-conditioning overnight.”

Residential customers have been asked to switch off geysers, air-conditioners, lights and non-essential appliances between 5pm and 9pm.

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