City Power revises schedules as Eskom increases loadshedding to Stage 4

  • City Power has revised its frustrating loadshedding schedule which sees customers experiencing loadshedding blocks very close to each other.
  • The utility has reportedly solved the problem for Stages 1 through 4 of powercuts but will only have a solution for higher stages in two weeks.
  • Early on Wednesday morning Eskom declared Stage 4 loadshedding would be implemented until further notice.

For the last two weeks many City Power customers in Johannesburg have had to deal with a rather odd loadshedding schedule. Since taking over loadshedding duties from Eskom, City Power customers have experienced more frequent two hour power cuts with a one and a half to two hour gap before the power supply stops again.

Speaking from experience this schedule is hugely disruptive and backup power supplies struggle to recharge during this brief respite from powerlessness. The good news is that this is going to change, sort of.

On Tuesday City Power announced that it would be publishing a new loadshedding schedule on Wednesday.

“…customers will enjoy between 6-hours to 14-hours of uninterrupted electricity supply in worse case scenarios between Stages 1 and 4,” the regional utility said in a statement.

The utility has promised customers the following:

  • Stage 1 loadshedding with see four blocks of Johannesburg’s 16 blocks not experiencing loadshedding at all and blocks which are loadshed won’t experience loadshedding more than once,
  • Stage 2 loadshedding will see eight blocks cut for four collective hours a day while the remaining eight will be loadshed for a total of six collective hours per day,
  • Stage 3 will see 12 blocks shed for four collective hours while the remaining four blocks will be shed for six collective hours per day,
  • Stage 4 will see all blocks shed for six collective hours per day with a minimum of six hours between blocks.

The utility says that customers who are loadshed twice in a day will experience 14 consecutive hours of uninterrupted power during these cuts.

However, should Eskom ramp up loadshedding, the two hours blocks with a one and a half to two hour gap returns.

“From Stage 5 up to 8, the 2-hour break problem will re-emerge. The higher stages, the more often that problem will re-occur in the loadshedding cycle. In addition to that challenge, we also like to inform customers that up to 4 blocks may encounter on few occasions, 4-hour straight of loadshedding due to the overlapping into a different day. This only occurs when customers appear on the 22h00 time slot and then appear again in the next day at 00h00 to 02h30 time slot,” City Power said.

The utility says that it hopes to have a solution to the one and a half to two hour break problem at higher stages in the next two weeks.

Unfortunately, one the day this new schedule is set to come out, Eskom has increased the severity of powercuts to Stage 4.

“Due to insufficient emergency reserves and generation capacity as a result of four units not returning to service as planned, Stage 4 loadshedding was implemented this morning at 02:31 until further notice,” Eskom wrote in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

Here’s hoping Eskom doesn’t upgrade the severity of loadshedding so that Johannesburg residents can experience more that hours of uninterrupted power for a day or two.

[Image – Makarios Tang on Unsplash]


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