Eskom raises red flags on power use

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PowerLines Reuters.

Eskom has started raising red flags on power use and urged commercial and private consumers to reduce electricity consumption by 10 percent.

The power utility said if everyone saved 10 percent, it would reduce consumption by about 3 000 megawatts, enough to power Johannesburg.

Yesterday Eskom published its first weekly system status bulletin aimed at keeping the country up to date on developments in the supply and demand for power.

Since last year the utility has been publishing quarterly bulletins, which it said would continue. The initiative follows public panic after Eskom issued a warning earlier this week about the risk of load shedding.

The power supplier said capacity available to meet last night’s peak demand was 34 618MW while demand was forecast at 31 168MW.

It said current planned maintenance stood at 4 461MW and unplanned outages at 3 678MW.

Eskom said the system had improved since Monday, when it issued the warning.

On Monday, the peak demand was 30 282MW while available capacity was 30 742MW. By Tuesday, the available capacity had increased to 31 840MW while peak demand was 30 753MW.

On Wednesday, peak demand of 31 108MW was met by available capacity of 32 601MW. The company forecast that the peak demand for today would be 31 303MW and this was expected to decrease slightly over the weekend to 29 762MW on Saturday and 29 205MW on Sunday.

Eskom had asked its biggest customers to reduce electricity use and had interrupted the power supply to some.

Eskom has a special arrangement with BHP Billiton allowing the utility to cut off supply to the operator of the Bayside and Hillside aluminium smelters without any notice, if need be.

Eskom spokeswoman Hilary Joffe said that, according to the terms of the contract, the utility could cut the power for up to two hours a week.

“So we always make use of that throughout the year, but we make more use of it when the system is very tight.”

BHP Billiton South Africa spokesman Johnny Dladla said: “This causes a loss of production at these smelters to ensure national consumer demand can be met. We work closely with Eskom to do all we can to protect the supply to our smelters, and other operations.”

Dladla said the company would not disclose the financial loss it incurred as this was confidential information.

Joffe said Eskom also had arrangements with other big customers. “We use what we call the ‘demand market participation’, where we pay them to switch off,” she said.

Joffe said the utility wanted to push for a compulsory energy conservation scheme and some customers had already signed up voluntarily.

Since 2008 BHP Billiton has reduced its base-load power consumption at its smelters by 10 percent. Dladla said the contractual load shedding was in addition to this reduction.

“We have and will maintain that position in South Africa as a contribution to mitigating our country’s power crisis.”

Anglo American said it would make the required adjustments when necessary.

Eskom has compiled power saving tips for the energy intensive industries, which include the regular examination and maintenance of boiler systems, the use of electronic ballasts for lighting and the power factor correction of plants. Power loss could also be reduced in feeders, transformers and distribution equipment. - Londiwe Buthelezi


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Ben, wrote

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07:38am on 15 January 2012
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No other company would get away with this type of performance. How do they do it. Stories and excuses dont generate electricity.

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angela, wrote

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12:40pm on 14 January 2012
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South Africa leading to Zim situation. Blackouts will be a thing of the day.

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Anonymous, wrote

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04:29pm on 13 January 2012
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I don't know why these Eskom guys are wasting their time at Eskom, I mean besides the ANC themselves they are the biggest con-artists in Africa, wasting their skills while they could be making millions off unsuspecting people...oh wait....silly me...nevermind....thats exactly what they are doing

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Anonymous, wrote

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04:16pm on 13 January 2012
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Just wishful thinking but would be nice if the entire top levels of eskom where hit by a lightning bolt while they play with themselves looking at their bonus cheques, then they can feel what its like to really be raped by electricity.

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Anonymous, wrote

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12:53pm on 13 January 2012
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Previously they asked us the same thing, then used "lower than expected" electricity demand (amongst many others) as an excuse to increase the prices by +-24% for 3 consecutive years. $%$^% IDIOTS

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Anonymous, wrote

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11:41am on 13 January 2012
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Most households dont have aircons, and stoves only for cooking. Shower instead of bath. so how to save 10%? While Municipalities let some of the street lights on 247. And that is not including the so called "maintenance" carried out on the R21 & M1, where some sections of the lights are on every day. Municipalities should be fined by ESKOM. What about all the usage of electricity by illegal connections. Cut these supplies off, soon the other legal users in that area will take action. Offices and buildings management leave most of the lights on all night, with no regard, where only the lights required for security are necessary. ESKOM should fine them.

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JFT, wrote

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11:35am on 13 January 2012
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F@#* Eskom!

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:37am on 13 January 2012
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Eskom did not make provision for additional capacity between 1994 and 2008. Now the consumer must suffer for their bad planning descisions!

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Juan, wrote

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10:16am on 13 January 2012
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maybe eskoms bosses should stop paying themselves millions in bonusses and rather spend that money on infrastructure and competent technicians. But i guess self-enrichment is the african way.

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Margo, wrote

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10:16am on 13 January 2012
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Wonderful - they are obviously going to award themselves ginormous "Performance"Bonuses, so if they start mumblings and rumbling about power cuts etc, it gives them a platform for their huge annual increases - after all - they ned the money to fund said bonuses. And all the whiel - our neighbours are paying ridiculously low prices for their power!!!! What a rip off - we need an alternative supplier ...

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:12am on 13 January 2012
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the demand is only going to increase. Where are all the plans to increase the supply, going green, alternate sources of electricity like leveraging off the wind? What about solar farms?

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JR, wrote

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10:08am on 13 January 2012
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And if Eskom did their job and built teh capacity 20 years ago as they should have then we would not be in this mess. If you want to save power, how about getting office blocks to switch off office lights at night when there is no-one in the building, switch off street lights during the day and stop uneccessary lighting for appearance of exterior of buildings and emblems.

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JFT, wrote

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10:08am on 13 January 2012
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F@#* Eskom!

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:05am on 13 January 2012
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Ive said it before and I'll say it again. Fine this corporate companies for leaving every single light in their buildings burning 24hrs a day out of pure vanity and disregard for the public or the call to cut electricity usage. They should be fined thousands a day they refuse to turn off their lights. I can understand outside lighting for security reasons but to have every office and passage brightly lit, every lightbulb burning 24hrs a day is just disgusting! Fine them and make them pay for the shortfall, maybe then we wont have to sit in the darkness and be scared into not using the electricity we pay through our teeth for. Their vanity is not worth plunging the whole city inot darkness, leaving the common man with no income, business shut and babies without warm bottles. These companies need to start paying heavily for their vanity!!

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Anonymous, wrote

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09:56am on 13 January 2012
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This is rubbish. No other company in the world tells you to use less of their product. We are paying for this service, being extorted actually, and then being told not to use it. This is the stupidest business plan in the world!!!

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collywolly, wrote

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09:51am on 13 January 2012
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dont talk ~!@#$ - its another cover up to pay out bonuses.

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Saviour, wrote

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09:43am on 13 January 2012
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Easiest and cheapest way to save more than 10%, is to fit an ecoshower, Google it.

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