Eskom announced it would be forced to implement Stage 2 load shedding for extended periods of time in different areas, on a rotational basis. The City of Cape Town has advised its residents to be prepared for power cuts and make efforts to reduce their electricity usage.
“The City of Cape Town advises residents to switch off energy-hungry appliances now to reduce the impact of load-shedding today,” the City said in a statement. “The City is able to generate additional energy because of its Steenbras Hydroelectric Power Scheme to support City-supply customers, but if demand increases, the City can only assist at Stage 1. Eskom is indicating that it is experiencing a system emergency. Be energy-wise now.”
Stage 1 load shedding was implemented on Saturday, but residents in Cape Town were not affected as they had brought their consumption down enough to mitigate a power cut. Residents were urged to reduce their consumption again on Sunday, as Stage 2 load shedding was in effect, but was also later “suspended”.
Stages and reduction
– Stage 1 load shedding requires a load reduction of approximately 5%, which equates to a load shedding of between 80MW and 100MW for Cape Town.
– Switching off one’s geyser should be sufficient for achieving this reduction, but to be on the safe side it would be best if lights and other non-essential appliances such as pool pumps are also turned off. Given that many residents are at work when peak consumption times begin, and are not able to switch off appliances at home when given short notice to do so, the City would like to encourage members of the public to get into a habit of switching these items off before they leave for the day and to switch them back on before they go to bed.
“Although a load shedding announcement is typically made with very short notice, simple interventions can mean the difference between keeping the lights on across the whole city and being shed as per the schedule,” the City said.
– Communication: Ensure that your cell phone, laptop, tablet and radio are always fully charged when power is available. This will allow you to be able to communicate with others during load shedding
– Transport: Make sure that your vehicle always has fuel in the tank as most petrol stations are unable to pump fuel during power outages
– Cash: Keep some cash on you as ATMs cannot operate without electricity
– Security and safety: Backup batteries for electrically-operated gates, garage doors and security systems should be kept in a good working condition and be able to last through periods of load shedding. Store temporary lighting such as battery-powered torches, gas lamps and candles in places where they will be easy to find in the dark
– Eating: If you do not have a gas stove, prepare meals before the power is scheduled to be switched off. Boil water in your kettle and keep it in thermos flasks for hot drinks. You can also use an insulating cover on teapots, pots and pans to keep drinks and meals warm
– Most medication requiring refrigeration can be kept in a closed fridge for several hours without spoiling but you should check with your doctor or pharmacist if in doubt.
Residents and businesses are encouraged to visit the City’s electricity saving page www.savingelectricity.org.za for useful information on how to reduce electricity usage and the threat of load-shedding.
You can visit www.capetown.gov.za, go on the City of Cape Town’s Facebook page, or follow it on Twitter to find out which stage of load shedding Cape Town is in.