City of Joburg through its partnership with City Power, says it will launch a ‘load limiting’ initiative to help to curtail household electricity consumption and reduce the potential of load shedding in the city.
Load limiting will be done via the 65,000 smart meters that City Power has deployed throughout Johannesburg and it is the first solution of its kind to be implemented in South Africa.
The service will enable City Power to accurately determine available supply in relation to consumption in real time, and alert households that are above the required consumption threshold to cut down on consumption.
“When fully implemented, this innovative solution allows the City of Joburg to avert Stage 1, 2 and partial Stage 3 of load shedding,” City of Joburg said in a pres statement on Tuesday (14 April).
The penetration of 65,000 installed smart meter will yield to 153 MW for City Power.
City Power will implement load limiting in two phases, firstly on demand when Eskom issues a notification to municipalities to shed load due to constrained supply. Secondly, the implementation of load limiting will be scheduled in advanced to reduce consumption and reduce the pressure on the grid.
Households will be informed of the daily consumption rate and consumers are expected to adhere to this threshold. In the event of non-compliance, households that don’t comply will be remotely disconnected, thus sparing conforming customers from load shedding.
At peak times, which falls between 07h00 and 10h00 and 18h00 and 20h00 during weekdays, consumers are encouraged to minimise the number of appliances in use. Energy intensive appliances such as geysers, stoves, fuel pumps should be turned off during this time to avoid disconnection.
City Power has also implemented a system called Ripple Control which provides the utility with the ability to remotely switch off geysers during periods when the electricity generating capacity is constrained in order to free up load and avert load shedding.
Ripple Control has already been implemented and it is still being deployed across Johannesburg.
“Through the implementation of Ripple Control, City Power is able to control approximately 110 MW of electricity, the rollout of solar water geysers around Johannesburg have generated an additional saving of 60 MW is possible power and the Kelvin power station has contributed an additional 150 MW of capacity,” said City Power MD, Sicelo Xulu.
From July, City Power is set to charge household more for electricity during peak periods in a bid to lessen the need for load shedding.
The “time-of-use” will charge consumers more for electricity usage between the hours of 07h00-10h00 and 18h00-21h00 on weekdays.
To incentive a shift in use from the “peak times”, lower than normal pricing will be charged during off-peak times.