Eskom’s colour-coded power warnings are back – Here is what they mean

Eskom’s real-time televised Power Alert updates are being broadcasted again, providing feedback on the national grid using a colour-coded system.

“Eskom has re-introduced the real-time televised Power Alert updates to the public on the status of the electricity supply situation, starting with a partnership with SABC 1, 2 and 3,” Eskom states on its website.

“The aim of the Power Alert service is to provide feedback to the public on the real-time status of the grid, and to empower the public to help manage the demand and supply situation during periods of constraint.”

This Power Alert system makes use of real-time data and accounts for historical loads on the system, as well as current real-time loads, weather conditions, supply, and network conditions.

This data is interpreted to generate the applicable colour-coded status level indicators.

The power utility told MyBroadband that it has relaunched the Power Alert system due to its success in the past.

“Eskom is glad to report that we have also seen active participation from the public to the Power Alert broadcast,” it said.

“Eskom thanks all the households who have responded to Power Alerts by switching off lights and appliances between 17:00 and 21:00 – the period of peak demand for electricity in most homes in South Africa.”

“This has resulted in a reduction of 349MW in the demand for electricity in June 2020 in the case of Red Alerts,” Eskom said.

Eskom colour indicators

Eskom uses four colour-coded status levels to indicate the real-time status of the national electricity grid.

These alerts are delivered during televised broadcasts and each delivers a specific call-to-action based on the state of the power grid.

“By immediately responding to the televised Power Alerts residential consumers can make a significant difference to the electricity supply and demand situation,” Eskom said.

“If all households switch off their geysers, the demand reduction will be about 2,475MW which equates to the daily usage of a city of the size of Tshwane.”

Eskom’s website states that SABC 1, 2, and 3, will communicate the state of the national power grid to residential consumers on weekdays between 17:00 and 21:00.

The four power status levels are defined below.

Note that the Green power indicator can either be stable or increasing, the latter of which includes a call-to-action to save electricity.


Green stable

The national power grid is stable – no action needs to be taken.

Green stable


Green increasing

There is limited strain on the electricity supply. Residential consumers are requested to switch off unnecessary lights.

Green increasing


Orange

There is strain on the electrical supply.

Residential consumers are prompted to switch off any unnecessary lights, the geyser, and pool pumps for the evening peak period or until notified of a green status.

The shedding of these loads is not expected to cause any discomfort to residential consumers.

Orange indicator


Red

There is increasing strain on the electrical supply and that load-shedding is imminent.

Residential consumers are further prompted to switch off any unnecessary lights, the geyser, pool pumps, and additional loads such as non-essential appliances, air-conditioning, and dishwashers.

This is also requested for the evening peak period or until the system changes to green or orange status.

Red indicator


Black

There is significant strain on the electrical supply and that load-shedding is in progress.

Residential consumers are prompted to switch off all loads that are not absolutely essential.

This is also requested for the evening peak period or until the system changes to green or orange status.

Black indicator


Now read: Nersa takes step towards ending load-shedding in South Africa

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Eskom’s colour-coded power warnings are back – Here is what they mean