Eskom has declared a system emergency as the national power grid is severely constrained this afternoon, 18 June 2014.
In a statement released just after 4 pm today, Eskom said the constrained conditions are expected to continue tomorrow, particularly between 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm. If the demand does not decrease this could result in Eskom invoking its emergency protocols and implementing rotational load reduction.
Although Eskom has adequate generating capacity to meet the demand during the day, the challenge is over the short sharp evening peak – particularly between 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm – 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 remains important for all customers to ‘Beat the Peak’ from 5 pm to 9 pm this winter, by maintaining or achieving 10% electricity savings especially in the commercial and residential sectors.
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.
Eskom will utilise all necessary emergency resources at its disposal to keep the lights on, but should the demand not decrease, load reduction will be implemented as a measure of last resort to protect the national grid from a total shutdown.
In the event that load reduction becomes necessary, Eskom will use the published load shedding schedules which are available on the Eskom website (http:// loadshedding.eskom.co.za) for Eskom customers. Eskom customers can also contact our customer call centre 0860 037 566. Municipal customers should contact their municipalities for information.
Eskom will provide regular updates on the status of the power system
Follow St Francis Chronicle on Twitter: @stfranchronicle