Eskom Initiates Load Limiting Pilot

Will Load Limiting be the new normal?

Eskom Initiates Load Limiting Pilot

Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned electricity company, has announced the commencement of a load limiting pilot project in Bedford, located in the Eastern Cape region. This move follows the successful application of the strategy in Adelaide, another town within the same province.

Mbulelo Yedwa, Eskom’s Cape Coastal Cluster General Manager, remarked,

“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.”

Eskom elucidated that for customers possessing smart meters in Bedford, the usual load shedding during Stages 1 to 4 will be replaced with load limiting.

The process involves alerting customers an hour before load shedding commences, urging them to reduce their electrical usage from 60 Amperes to 10 Amperes. This directive is communicated through a message to the Customer Interface Unit (CIU) of their smart meter, complemented by a text message.

“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 detailed.

The objective of this initiative is to mitigate the effects of load shedding on consumers, offering several advantages:

  • The ability for customers to maintain usage of crucial appliances such as lighting, televisions, cell phone chargers, refrigerators, and security systems during load limiting periods.
  • Elimination of delays in restoring power supply post-load shedding due to equipment failure.
  • Prevention of theft and vandalism targeted at Eskom’s infrastructure, as well as protection against equipment wear and tear from frequent on/off switching.
  • Decrease in incidents of cable faults.

Eskom emphasizes the importance of consumer participation, stating,

“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,”

This innovative approach by Eskom aims to not only ensure a more stable electricity supply but also to foster a more sustainable and responsible energy consumption pattern among its customers in the Eastern Cape.

What do you think?


Written by tarryn


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