Eskom: Load shedding now to avoid severe cuts later

2015-01-28 11:05

Stage one rolling power cuts will be implemented this morning.

“The electricity system continues to be severely constrained, and Eskom will be implementing stage one load shedding from 10am until 10pm today to manage dam levels at its pumped storage schemes,” power utility Eskom said today.

Stage one allows for up to 1000MW of the national load to be cut, stage two for up to 2000MW, and stage three for up to 4000MW.

“Implementing lower stages of load shedding throughout the week helps us prevent severe load shedding later in the week.”

Eskom said at its pumped storage schemes, which use water to generate electricity, dam levels were low because they had been unable to pump water back to full capacity over the past weekend.

“This is mainly because they were in use over the weekend to meet demand,” the company said.

“Ordinarily, the weekends are used to pump our dam levels to maximum capacity in preparation for the forecasted increased demand in electricity during the week.”

It is currently Eskom’s maintenance season, so the electricity provider expected the power grid to remain constrained for the rest of the summer.

“Eskom calls on consumers to switch off geysers, air conditioners, pool pumps and all nonessential appliances throughout the day to reduce electricity demand,” it said.

“We also request workers to switch off the lights, with the exception of security lighting when they leave office buildings this evening and to ensure that air conditioners are switched off over night.”

Commercial customers, particularly shopping centres and office blocks, could make the biggest difference by switching off nonessential lights and not leaving equipment such as photocopiers and computers in standby mode after hours.

Customers were advised to check load shedding schedules available on Eskom’s website, or contact its call centre. Municipal customers were urged to contact their local authorities.

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