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Load limiting the way to go – City Power

Smart meter electricity consumption to be controlled.

City Power customers with smart meters no longer have total control over their electricity consumption. The electricity provider has now rolled out ‘load limiting’, a technology that allows it to disconnect households that do not comply with requests to reduce consumption.

This is according to City Power MD Sicelo Xulu, who says that repetitive disconnections at five-minute intervals will be carried out on households. This will happen over a period of 30 seconds, and serves as a warning to the consumer to reduce consumption.

The electricity provider is echoing a call repeated by utility Eskom, urging customers to conserve electricity. Households are advised to adopt the habit of switching off non-essential items, such as geysers, pool pumps and stoves.

Xulu adds that failure to comply will lead to disconnection.

City Power has highlighted in a statement released on Sunday that load limiting is aimed at saving its customers from ongoing load shedding by reducing pressure on the grid. He says load limiting will slash average household consumption by half.

Load limiting during peak times

Xulu further says load limiting, which began on Monday, is now only being implemented during peak hours when the grid is generally under pressure.

He explains that in the first two weeks, household usage will be limited to 21Amps between 19:00 and 22:00pm.

Thereafter it will run concurrently with the load shedding schedule, which will be published on the City Power website.

Not a solution to electricity crisis

Energy expert Chris Yelland, on the other hand, has described this as an attempt by government to shove technology down the throats of citizens. He says smart meters or load limiting is not going to solve South Africa’s short supply of electricity.

He has also questioned government’s ability to see such a project through.

Yelland says the failed Tshwane Municipality’s multi-billion rand contract for smart meters with service provider PEU is an example. The City suspended the contract in May claiming it’s no longer financially and economically sustainable. This after PEU installed more than 10 000 smart meters.

Meter rollout planned despite controversy

The issue of smart meters also caused turmoil in Soweto earlier this year. Orlando West residents protested violently, demanding that the pre-paid electricity meters be removed from their homes.

They argued that the system is unaffordable and that they were not consulted about the roll out of these smart meters.

Meanwhile, Xulu has indicated City Power’s plans to continue installing smart meters in Johannesburg, which will allow them to carry out load limiting on a wider scale.

He says so far about 92 000 smart meters are active in Johannesburg and adds that City Power aims to install around 30 000 devices by the end of July.

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I do believe that Xulu and his merry men are living on a different planet. What they are doing is killing the goose that lays the golden egg. They are targeting households who have these smart meters, yet they won’t go after those “residents” who are stealing electricity within their distribution area (and no Soweto draws directly from Eskom so is not a factor). Further this turning off and then on through City Powers sub stations and in households is going to have an adverse effect on residents meter boxes and household goods, and City Power will not entertain any claims directly for loss of equipment suffered by households. City Power is also concentrating on suburbs where residents are busy cooking supper, bathing kids, and endeavouring to handle school work (wonder if CP is being employed by government to keep kids stupid) as CT have imposed a high demand period of 5.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. Can’t wait for alternate sources of energy to be sourced and to see City Power assigned to the age of the dinosaurs with the concomitant loss of jobs and massive salaries. Roll on Elon Musk and his Tesla battery systems

Can City Power also explain how come last night we had no electricity in Randparkridge for just over 2 hours yet no blackouts were scheduled for our area.
Bunch of trolls

Glad to see that they are going to target individual households. The idea put forward a month or two ago was that they would hit all the customers in a given area / suburb, affecting customers who do limit their usage along with those that don’t. Go ahead, remove the smart meters from people who don’t want them. Then they get no electricity at all. It ain’t a free lunch.

I don’t know whether any meters can handle this, but can we not eliminate the availability of free power during peak periods and during load shedding? Don’t cut power necessarily, but let everyone pay for what they use, and only make the free power available when the grid is stable. No free lunches here while the customers are queueing out the door, but how about brunch or tea on the house?

The problem here is that the problem is not clearly defined. There are two ways to change people’s behaviour. Punish them or reward them. Punishing doesn’t work well, too much admin. Reward: This seems to work much better. Never in my life have I seen so many people in Gyms and Parkruns. This has to be due to rewards programs offered by insurance companies.

It just boils down to a complete lack of imagination. Bring in the game theory. Make it financially viable and cool to put in my inverter that charges in the early hours and switches in at high demand times. Peak max power demand is the real issue here so create incentives to reduce one’s peak. As another commenter said, typically we’re bathing the kids and cooking at the same time… wow really no-one sees the obvious solution to this?

It blows my mind how a company like Afrox has a share price crashing in a time of energy shortage? Instead I see a private company Oryx owning the playing field. In any household the geyser and stove are by far the biggest consumers next to heating. Watt for watt a 4kW gas heater consumes as many cents per hour as 2 2kW fan heaters.
Where are the gas companies in all of this? Why is government not spending money on training and incentives? Here, install a gas geyser, gas stove. You don’t pay VAT on domestic gas or gas appliances or something to that effect.
Gas technicians… Yeah.. small employment opportunity there, but where will we find workers..? Before the dim-witted racists climb on-board, gas tech’s in Europe are no rocket scientists.. Besides its a bit like electricity reticulation in that the morons don’t last too long

The rest of the developed world relies heavily on gas for cooking etc and the price of gas looks to dive in the next few years…

No imagination… In the private sector I mean…In Government its a given…

End of comments.

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