Friday, 07 August 2020

Johannesburg: Eskom has re-launched the televised Power Alert initiative which informs the public about the real time status of the electricity network and empower South Africans to assist in balancing supply and demand of electricity.

The colour-coded alerts inform residential electricity users if the system is either stable, or under severe pressure and if under severe pressure the public is requested to turn off “all unnecessary electrical appliances – lights, geysers, pool pumps and non-essential appliances”.

The operational system provides a real-time link into the four television broadcasters – SABC, etv, DStv – as well as Open View. The objective of the Power Alert service is to ensure that customers are notified of the real-time or “live” status of the power grid and to ask for assistance in alleviating the electricity demand by switching off certain appliances.

Eskom thanks all the households who have responded to Power Alerts by switching off lights and appliances between 5pm and 9pm – the period of peak demand for electricity in most homes in South Africa.  This has resulted in a reduction of 472MW (megawatts) in the demand for electricity in May 2020 in the case of Red Alerts.

This reduction, put into perspective is enough to power approximately 220 560 urban residential homes during the evening peak.

“South Africa will continue to experience energy shortages for the foreseeable future; and your continued assistance by switching off lights and appliances in response to the Power Alert system is commendable and highly appreciated,” says Sikonathi Mantshantsha, Eskom spokesperson.

The Power Alert system is categorised into four levels, namely:

  • When the system is GREEN, the power grid is stable however limited and this provides a warning that the electricity is increasing.  South Africans are then encouraged to switch off the lights and appliances that they don’t need.
  • When the system turns ORANGE, this is a warning that the National Power Grid is strained and there is an urgent need to turn off all unnecessary electrical appliances such as lights you don’t need, your geyser and your swimming pool pump.
  • When the gauge on the Power Alert system turns RED, the National Power System is under immense pressure and this requires immediate action from every South African to turn off all lights you don’t need, your geyser and all non-essential appliances.
  • If the Power Alert system turns BLACK, then the impact on the National Power System is under severe strain and loadshedding is in progress.

“So remember to keep an eye out for and respond to the real-time Power Alert messages on the various TV stations to help manage the strain on the electricity system.  Together we can make a difference and keep the lights on.” Eskom stated.