Eskom will reduce power supply to 10 Amps in Load Limiting test

  • Eskom customers in Fourways will experience load limiting starting on today.
  • Customers will be warned to reduce their consumption to 10 Amps an hour before loadshedding.
  • If customers comply, they will continue to have electricity for the duration of loadshedding.

After much talk about managing demand, Eskom has begun piloting its load limiting measures in Fourways on Friday. Unlike loadshedding, load limiting would provide customers with power, albeit less than they’d usually have access to.

During this pilot, Eskom customers with smart meters installed will be asked to reduce their consumption to 10 Amps, down from the usual 60 – 80 Amps they may usually receive.

“An hour before the start of loadshedding, the system will prompt customers to reduce their consumption to 10 Amps by sending a message to their customer interface unit (CIU) [put plainly, their meter] and cellphone,” explains Eskom.

“The system will provide the customer with four opportunities to reduce their consumption and thereafter, if the load has not been reduced the meter will automatically switch off the electricity supply for the duration of the loadshedding period,” the utility added.

What this means is that should you reduce your consumption in time, your lights won’t be cut. The question now is what you’d have to switch off in order to comply with this 10 Amp restriction.

This will vary depending on what appliances you have in your house but things that heat, cool and move are generally going to consume more electricity. A kettle for instance can use up to 13 Amps, a washing machine 10 Amps and a single oven as much as 13 Amps.

However, things like a 55 inch TV will only draw as much as 0.5 Amps and game consoles draw 0.86 Amps. Again, it will be up to Eskom customers to determine how many Amps their appliances and electronics draw.

For the examples above we used the chart at this URL but this is an exercise you will need to do in your own home.

This load limiting is only in place for Stages 1 to 4 of loadshedding but, if folks can keep their router on, a few lights and potentially even watch TV or play games, well that’s better than sitting in the dark.

Of course, it remains to be seen how effective this load limiting is but we’re optimistic.

[Image – Thomas Breher from Pixabay]


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