City Power Enforces Load Reduction Measures to Curb Electricity Use in Johannesburg

City Power has announced stringent measures to reduce electricity consumption across Johannesburg. The measures come as the city’s power usage hits critical levels, threatening the stability of the grid. This announcement coincides with South Africa’s record 72 days without load-shedding, a feat last achieved between December 2021 and February 2022.

Ripple Relay Systems and Illegal Connections

Starting Sunday, City Power will:

  • Implement Ripple Relay Systems: These systems will cut electricity supply to geysers in homes where the grid is under threat.
  • Intensify Cut-Off Operations: Targeting illegal connections.
  • Introduce Load Reduction: At substations with high consumption and those at risk.

“While other measures such as ripple relay and cutoffs of illegal connections are underway to relieve the severe strain on our electricity network due to a massive increase in energy demand, City Power will implement load reduction starting June 10, 2024,” said City Power.

Load Reduction During Peak Times

Load reduction will be enforced during peak times:

  • Morning: 6 AM to 10 AM
  • Evening: 4 PM to 10 PM

High-density areas and suburbs with excessive usage levels will be affected. Additionally, load-limiting through smart meters will begin in July to help customers save energy without completely cutting off their supply.

Efforts to Encourage Lower Consumption

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City Power’s decision to initiate load reduction follows unsuccessful attempts to encourage residents to lower their consumption. The entity recorded a significant increase in peak load, rising by 65% from summer months.

  • Peak Load Increase: From 25MW in summer to 33MW between April and May 2024, and in some areas, peaking at 42MW, a 110% increase.
  • Off-Peak Load Rise: From 20MW in January and March to 30MW in April and May, a 50% increase.

Ripple Relay System Details

“A ripple receiver is part of a load management system used to control the electricity supply to the geyser during peak hours,” explained City Power. “Geysers are among the biggest electricity guzzlers, accounting for up to 50% of monthly household energy costs.” These relays are connected to 69 substations and allow City Power to monitor consumption remotely.

Affected Areas and Implementation

Load reduction will be applied in areas where consumption exceeds the capacity of transformers, transmission lines, or cables. Over 80 areas will be grouped into six blocks, each facing up to 2 ½ hours of power cuts daily during peak times.

Affected Areas Include:

  • Mountain View
  • Thembelihle
  • Princess
  • Pimville Zone 9
  • Pennyville
  • Precast
  • Freedom Park
  • Alexandra
  • Slovo
  • Matholesville
  • Naturena
  • Lawley
  • Tshepisong
  • Kliptown
  • Vlakfontein
  • Klipfontein
  • Mayibuye

Schedule and Urgency

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The load reduction schedule will be enforced during peak hours:

  • Morning: 4 AM to 10 AM
  • Evening: 4 PM to 10 PM

Each block will have its power supply switched off for 2 ½ hours daily until the network stabilizes.

“City Power is implementing load reduction as a last resort, an urgent and unavoidable necessity to protect electricity infrastructure from overloading,” stated City Power. Overloading can cause equipment to explode or catch fire, leading to prolonged outages and repair delays. Despite the suspension of load-shedding, should it resume, load reduction will continue alongside it.

City Power urges residents to reduce their electricity consumption to avoid further disruptions and protect the grid’s integrity.

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