INTERPRETING ESKOM LOAD-SHEDDING STAGES
(Most of the information below is a summary of that contained on the www.eskom.co.za webpage).
LOAD SHEDDING WILL BE USED UNDER EMERGENCY CONDITIONS FOR LIMITED PERIODS ONLY
Load-shedding is: When there is not enough electricity available to meet the demand from all Eskom customers, it thus becomes necessary to reduce supply. This is called load shedding. It is different from a power outage that could occur for several other reasons.
It is an effective way to avoid total collapse of the electricity supply grid. By rotating and shedding the load in a planned and controlled manner, the system remains stable.
Various organisations, inter alia, the Tshwane website (see below) will inform what stage of load shedding applies. Please use only reliable sources and do not rely on hearsay or rumour. This only confuses everyone.
Load shedding is a process whereby: Eskom’s National Control Centre instructs those organisations receiving bulk electricity (e.g. the 126 Municipalities) on how much electricity is to be shed (e.g. how much electricity is to be saved). Municipalities then switch off individual areas for predetermined times as per published schedules. See either this webpage for the Doringkloof load shedding schedule or go to http://www.tshwane.gov.za/sites/Departments/Public-works-and-infrastructure/Pages/Load-Shedding.aspx for the whole Tshwane schedule.
Three schedules have now been developed based on the possibility of risk and to ensure that it is applied in a fair and equitable manner:
Stage 1 is where up to 1000 MW of the national load must be saved.
Stage 2 is where up to 2000 MW of the national load must be saved.
Stage 3 is where up to 3000 MW of the national load must be saved.
Stage 4 is where up to 4000 MW of the national load must be saved.
NOTE: As the demand for electricity increases beyond the capacity of Eskom to supply or the ability of the power stations to deliver electricity decreases to less than the expected demand for electricity, so Eskom will move from one stage to the next, up or down.
Load shedding will be implemented in most instances in 2 hour blocks (with an additional 30 minutes for switching between blocks) whenever load shedding is required. You therefore may be without electricity for 2 and a half hour.
Load-shedding will only be done as a last resort. This is done to allow Eskom to continue with the planned maintenance of their generation plant during this winter. This means that the national power system will be particularly strained during the evening peak between 5pm and 9pm in winter, and during any time of the day in the summer months
Please help us beat the peak by following 4 actions for 4 hours:
Switching off your geysers, electric heaters and pool pumps from 5pm to 9pm every day
Switching off unnecessary appliances and lighting
Look at alternative heating solutions
Responding to the Power Alerts and Power Bulletin updates