Power utility Eskom has implemented stage two load-shedding from 4pm today, citing a severely constrained electricity system.
In a statement on its website, the state-owned company said: “Eskom would like to inform South Africans and all its customers that the electricity system is severely constrained. In the power alert issued earlier this morning Eskom informed that unplanned breakdowns were at 12 300MW, and that there was a probability of load-shedding at short notice if unexpected shifts, such as additional unplanned breakdowns, were experienced.”
There was a loss of additional generation, the statement said.
“As a result, it has become necessary to implement stage two rotational load-shedding from 4pm until 11pm in order to protect the power system from a total collapse.”
The severe supply constraint being experienced has come about due to high levels of unplanned breakdowns that have exceeded the 10 500MW limit.
The statement went on to say that Eskom had warned that to avoid load-shedding unplanned breakdowns needed to be contained at below 9 500MW.
“We unreservedly apologise to South Africans for the negative impact this may have on them and want to assure the nation that we continue to work tirelessly to ensure security of energy supply.”
The power utility called for “a concerted collective effort to reduce demand” to help avoid or lessen the level of load-shedding. Urging residents to use electricity sparingly, Eskom pointed out the following tips:
• Set air-conditioners’ average temperature at 23ºC
• Switch off your geysers over peak periods
• Use the cold water tap rather than using the geyser every time
• Set your swimming pool pump cycle to run twice a day, three hours at a time for optimal energy use
• At the end of the day, turn off computers, copiers, printers and fax machines at the switch. Avoid stand-by or sleep mode
Customers are advised to check their load-shedding schedules on the Eskom or municipal websites.
“We remind customers that load-shedding is conducted rotationally as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout. We will continue to keep South Africans informed about the status of the electricity system.”