21 February 2014

South Africa: Eskom Appeals to Public to Save Power

Eskom on Friday afternoon appealed to its customers to continue to save electricity as the system remains on high alert.

"Demand for electricity remained very high on Friday morning, which necessitated Eskom to use its normal operational reserves and additional emergency reserves," it said.

The power utility anticipates that the system will remain constrained for the rest of Friday and next week.

There will be a slight reprieve over the weekend as electricity demand is traditionally lower over the weekend.

Eskom chief executive Brian Dames: "We urge all electricity consumers to sustain the reduction of demand throughout the day. We continue to rely on the partnerships we have with all our customers - industrial, commercial and residential - for the necessary voluntary energy savings of at least 10% in order to reduce pressure on the system. "It is therefore important for all electricity consumers to adopt energy saving as a way of life".

Last night, the power parastatal lifted a power emergency it had put in place earlier on Thursday. In declaring the emergency, Eskom had requested its industrial customers to reduce their load by 10%.

The lifting of the emergency has allowed industrial customers to go back to full production.

"Eskom has indicated that the power system will remain constrained until new generating capacity comes on stream and essential generation maintenance is done," added Dames.

There was noticeable savings on Thursday evening as industrial, commercial and residential customers contributed approximately 1 000MW of savings.

Eskom said that commercial customers, particularly shopping centres and retail outlets can contribute to savings by immediately switching off geysers and adjusting air-conditioning temperature levels to 23⁰C.

The utility also asked workers to switch off lights with the exception of the security lighting when they leave office buildings in the evenings and that they avoid leaving on air-conditioning overnight. - SAnews.gov.za

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