When there is not enough electricity available to meet the demand from all Eskom customers, it could be necessary to interrupt supply to certain areas. This is called load shedding. It is different from a power outage that could occur for several other reasons.
It is a last resort to balance electricity supply and demand. We will only apply load-shedding when all other options have been exhausted.
It is an effective way to avoid total collapse of the electricity supply grid (a national black-out) which will have disastrous outcomes for South Africa. If unbalances on the power is not managed this could lead to the risk of collapse of the entire power network. If this occurs, it could take more than a week to restore power to the entire country. By rotating and shedding the load in a planned and controlled manner, the system remains stable.
Before load-shedding is applied, Eskom makes use of:
Gas and hydro options
Contracted and voluntary options with certain large customers to reduce their demand.
If all these measures have been exhausted and demand still cannot be met, Eskom will proceed with load-shedding.
Load shedding is a process whereby:
Eskom’s National Control Centre instructs its Distribution Regional Control Centres, 126 Municipalities and Eskom’s key Industrial Customers on the Megawatts to be shed.
Eskom (Regional Distributor) and Municipalities execute these instructions by switching off individual areas for predetermined times as per published schedules
The duration of load-shedding will depend on the specific Eskom region or on the Municipality; based on local circumstances.
Load-shedding will only be done as a last resort, as:
Eskom must continue with the planned maintenance of our Generation plant during this winter. This will enable a sustainable Generation plant going forward.
This means that the national power system will be particularly strained during the evening peak between 5pm and 9pm in winter, and during any time of the day in the summer months
Eskom has published the load-shedding schedules to enable our customers to be better prepared in the event of load shedding. Customers are requested to review the schedules and report any inconsistencies or concerns to our Contact Centre on 0860037566/08600ESKOM or via an e-mail by going to the contact us tab on http://loadshedding.eskom.co.za