Eskom: save power, work at night

2012-08-04 17:02

Eskom has a novel new idea for saving electricity: encourage more South Africans to work at night.

This week, Eskom’s chief executive Brian Dames announced plans to offer companies special rates to use electricity from about 10pm to 4am.

He told a meeting of business executives in Pretoria that companies should consider changing their working hours to help make the plan viable.

Dames said at the meeting that after 9pm, most of Eskom’s power stations dropped to a minimum power output as most people head ed for bed.

Eskom spokesperson Hillary Joffe said Dames had asked a team to look into the idea and possibly engage customers.

However, she pointed out that this was not yet a formal proposal, and was still “early stage thinking”.

Joffe said the demand for electricity in the middle of the night was currently very low.

“Companies that can shift production would be asked to consider changing.

“Not all companies can,” Joffe said.

She said the plan was about using resources much more effectively for Eskom and its customers.

 “It would optimise the way we work,” Joffe explained.

SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Neren Rau said the primary concern of business was the sustainability of the electricity supply.

“The chamber is heartened to see that Dames and Eskom are exploring creative approaches to alleviating the stress on the electricity supply grid and ensure sustainability of supply,” Rau said.

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