City Power has started rolling out its “load limiting” solution throughout Johannesburg, which allows the company to disconnect residents’ electricity supply if they do not reduce their consumption when asked to do so.
City Power asked residents “not to panic” if they experience recurrent disconnections due to load limiting, but rather reduce their consumption by turning off “non-essential” appliances.
“Load limiting is a technology that enables City Power to accurately identify and ascertain household consumption in real time in relation to the available generating capacity,” said the company.
The system works through smart meters installed by City Power, which aims to have 30,000 load limiting-capable meters in homes before the end of July.
“The total number of smart meter installed is currently over 92,000. City Power [wants] to leverage the power of technology to avert the implementation of the early stages of load shedding.”
How load limiting works
“Households that have an excessive consumption would experience repetitive disconnections at five minute intervals for a period of 30 seconds until they have reduced their consumption to required levels,” said City Power.
“Should they fail to abide by instructions to reduce consumption, non-compliant residents will be disconnected remotely via smart meters.”
“If your electricity is disconnecting for a period of 30 seconds, you would need to comply by immediately switching off your heavy current appliances.”
“When each household reduces consumption to required levels during periods of constrained supply, it will spare the affected areas from being subjected to load shedding as pressure on the grid will be lessened when the entire neighbourhood collectively reduces consumption.”
City Power plans to limit household electricity usage through load limiting by restricting residents to 21Amps between 19:00 and 22:00 daily.
“After this period, load limiting will run concurrently with the load shedding schedule.”
The video below further details how load limiting works.