Eskom rolls out load limiting pilot in Bedford in the Eastern Cape

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  • South Africa’s state owned power utility Eskom says it will be going live with the piloting of load limiting at Bedford in the Eastern Cape.

This comes after the successful implementation of the project in another Eastern Cape town, Adelaide.

Eskom Cape Coastal Cluster General Manager Mbulelo Yedwa said: “Electricity load limiting through smart meters is being implemented to better balance the supply and demand of electricity on the grid during Stages 1 to 4 of load shedding allowing customers to continue to use essential appliances with the capacity of up to 10 Amperes.”

The power utility explained that instead of being load shed during Stages 1 to 4, customers with smart meters in Bedford will have their load limited.

“An hour before the start of load shedding, these customers in selected pilot areas will be prompted to reduce their consumption from 60 Amperes to 10 Amperes by sending a message to the Customer Interface Unit (CIU) of the smart meter.

“Customers will also be notified by text message. If the customer load is still above 10 Amperes, the smart meter will automatically make two more attempts 30 seconds apart. After three failed attempts, the next reset will be in 30 minutes,” Eskom said.

The initiative, according to Eskom, is aimed at reducing the impact that load shedding has on customers with the following benefits:

  • Customers will still be able to use essential appliances during load limiting e.g lights, TV, cellphone charger, fridge, security.
  • No more delayed restoration of supply after load shedding due to failure of equipment.
  • Avoid theft and vandalism of Eskom infrastructure. Protect equipment fatigue from repetitive switching.
  • Reduction in cable faults

“It is the responsibility of the customer to reduce consumption by switching off non-essential appliances and only keep connected essential appliances up to a maximum of 10 Amperes for the duration of the load limiting period,” Eskom said.



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