Reduce power usage

2018-07-03 06:01

THE eThekwini Municipality says residents should prepare themselves, during this curial time of load shedding, by switching off appliances to prevent overload trips.

eThekwini Municipality’s communication officer Mandla Nsele said overload trips may result in extended outages.

“Switching off sensitive electrical appliances before power is restored also prevents the risk of voltage spikes and subsequent damage to equipment when power returns.

“Residents must switch off lights, unplug appliances, turn the geyser to 60°C and use hot water sparingly.

“A kettle uses the same amount of energy to boil one litre of water as a fridge uses in seven hours, therefore only boil the water when you need it.

“Energy efficient lighting options are readily available today. LED and CFL light bulbs consume much less electricity than conventional incandescent light bulbs and last, on average, almost six to eight times longer.

“Residents should install a heat pump, which can potentially cut your water heating costs by up to 67% compared to a regular geyser. Hot plates retain heat, so turn off the stove after you’ve finished cooking. It won’t affect your food, only your electricity bill.

“Residents should also check the seal on their fridge. A damaged seal can make your fridge consume more electricity due to the cold air escaping,” Nsele said.

The Pinetown Fever reporter chatted to a few residents on how load shedding had affected them.

Zinhle Makhanya said there’s nothing more frustrating than having your power cut off unexpectedly: “I hate load shedding! Some of us don’t have access to the internet to check the times and stages of load shedding. I think Eskom is doing a very poor job in informing residents on to when the electricity will go off.”

Ntombi Zulu said load shedding can be dangerous for some households: “A lot of people use candles when the electricity is off and this can be dangerous because some homes have small children who like to play with a candle, which can result in your house burning down.”

Nokulunga Gwala said: “This load shedding thing is nonsense. Some of us pay our electricity bill every month and I find it hard to understand why they are doing this.

“Sometimes the power goes off while I’m cooking supper and sometimes it goes off before I have ironed my clothes to wear at work. I just want this to end.”

Fidelity ADT’s District Manager Ivan Govender advises the public to check their security system before the lights go out.

“Many people are under the incorrect assumption that their home alarm system is deactivated when the power supply is interrupted. However, if you have a stable and correctly programmed system coupled with a battery that is in good condition, it will continue to protect the premises during a power outage — regardless if the outage is because of load shedding or not.”

“The only time it may not function correctly is if there is a technical issue, or the battery power is low.

“Most modern alarm systems have a back-up battery pack that activates automatically when there is a power failure,” Govender said.

He added that there are a number of practical steps that can be taken to ensure security is not compromised during power cuts.

Some of these include ensuring that the alarm system has an adequate battery supply, that all automated gates and doors are secured and, lastly, to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to your security provider or the SAPS.

With the added inconvenience of the lights going out at night due to power cuts, candles and touch lights are handy alternatives.

Govender says home and business owners should consider installing Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology, which is integrated into the alarm system’s wiring and automatically switches on when there is a power outage.

“If there is an additional battery pack, the small, non-intrusive LED lights can stay on for the duration of the power outage without draining the primary alarm battery.”

According to Eskom’s press statement, there is a low probability of rotational load shedding during the day as a result of power station units being returned to the power system.

However, the probability of rotational load shedding increases during the evening “peak period” between 5 pm to 9 pm due to the expected increase in electricity demand.

Load shedding is conducted as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.

Eskom encourages residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly to ease the demand of electricity.

Customers are advised to keep checking their load shedding schedules on the Eskom website or their municipal website, and plan on the assumption that load shedding will take place.

In the event that load shedding becomes necessary, Eskom and the municipalities will load shed according to the published load shedding schedules.

For more information visit

loadshedding.eskom.co.za or contact the customer contact centre at 086 003 7566.

Hot plates retain heat, so turn off the stove after you’ve finished cooking.

It won’t affect your food, only your electricity bill.

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