The embattled power utility, Eskom, has cautioned South Africans to cut back on their electricity usage to avoid loadshedding this week.
On Sunday, 30 May Eskom posted a statement saying the power system is under ‘severe strain’ as the shortage of generation capacity still persists.
“The supply constraints are caused by high breakdowns in generation units and high winter demand,” said Eskom.
No loadshedding has been scheduled for this week but Eskom says they could be forced to implement Stage 1 or Stage 2 loadshedding at short notice to deal with further breakdowns. These outages will most likely be during 5pm – 10pm.
“Breakdowns currently today 14 756MW of capacity, while another 3 330MW is unavailable due to planned maintenance. Eskom teams are working tirelessly to return more generators to service,” said Eskom.
The power utility experienced the same problems last week and implemented Stage 1 loadshedding on Wednesday and suspended it again on Thursday.
Eskom warned of rolling blackouts throughout winter due to breakdowns and high usage in the colder months.
Ways to save electricity:
1. Manage your geyser. Switch it off if unused or if you leave on holiday.
2. Install a timer on your geyser.
3. Cover your hot water heater with an insulation blanket.
4. Reduce the temperature of your geyser thermostat to 55°C or less.
5. Invest in a solar geyser and save up to 40% on your electricity bill.
6. Save up to 16% on your bill by insulating your home properly.
7. Consider installing energy efficient windows.
8. Save up to 10% on your bill by setting your pool pump to run for a shorter period each day: 6 hours in summer and 4 in winter are enough.
9. Replace your old bulbs for LED equivalent. They use 90% less electricity and last up to 20 years.
10. Invest in energy STAR appliances and electronics.
11. Save 6% on your bill by switching off your appliances at the wall.
12. Run full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher
13. Don’t set your fridge temperature colder than necessary: set your refrigerator between 2°C and 5°C and your freezer between -20°C and – 22°C
14. Install an energy saving-showerhead: they are designed to use up to 40% less hot water.