Ricochet News

Eskom resorts to Stage 4 load shedding - here's how load shedding stages work

Mar 17, 2019
Eskom resorts to Stage 4 load shedding - here's how load shedding stages work

Port Elizabeth - Eskom on Sunday was forced to implement Stage 4 load shedding due to a continuing shortage of generating capacity at the power stations. Eskom has had to resort to Stage 4 load shedding on Saturday for the first time since the start of load shedding this year.

"Eskom is continuing with rotational loadshedding today to build up necessary water reserves in the pump storage scheme," the utility said on Sunday morning.

"We are currently loadshedding at Stage 2.

"The stage will shift to Stage 4 from 08h00 till 23h00. We apologise for the inconvenience."

 

Understanding Eskom Load Shedding Stages

 

Load shedding will be used under emergency conditions for limited periods.

Four schedules have been developed based on the possibility of risk and to ensure that load shedding is applied in a fair and equitable manner:

  • Stage 1 allows for up to 1000 MW of the national load to be shed.
  • Stage 2 allows for up to 2000 MW of the national load to be shed.
  • Stage 3 allows for up to 3000 MW of the national load to be shed.
  • Stage 4 allows for up to 4000 MW of the national load to be shed.

Load shedding will be implemented in most instances in 2 hour blocks.

  • However, in Eskom-supplied Johannesburg areas, blocks are 4 hours long. This is to coincide with City Power’s 4 hour schedule.

Each of the time periods has an additional 30 minutes added to allow for switching of networks in a way that will not damage the power system.

  • Most customers (those in 2 hour blocks) may therefore be without electricity for up to 2.5 hours at a time, while customers in 4 hour blocks may be without electricity for up to 4.5 hours at a time.

Eskom will begin load shedding customers at the start of the period (for example from 06:00), and will have all scheduled customers switched off within the first half hour (that is, by 06:30)

At the end of the period, after the two / four hours (that is, by 08:00 or 10:00 as applicable), Eskom will start returning power to customers and should have them all back within half an hour (that is, by 08:30 or 10:30).

The frequency of load shedding increases as higher Stages are used

  • Stage 1 requires the least amount of load shedding, 3 times over a four day period for two hours at a time, or 3 times over an eight day period for four hours at a time.
  • Stage 2 will double the frequency of Stage 1, which means you will be scheduled for load shedding 6 times over a four day period for two hours at a time, or 6 times over an eight day period for four hours at a time Stage 3 will increase the frequency of Stage 2 by 50%, which means you will be scheduled for load shedding 9 times over a four day period for two hours at a time, or 9 times over an eight day period for four hours at a time.
  • Stage 4 will double the frequency of Stage 2, which means you will be scheduled for load shedding 12 times over a four day period for two hours at a time, or 12 times over an eight day period for four hours at a time.

If more load needs to be shed than has been scheduled in Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4 then National Control will instruct additional, unscheduled load shedding. This means you may be shed outside of your scheduled times.

The actual stage in use at the time will be displayed on the main Eskom website and on the home page of the Load Shedding Website, as well as on the MyEskom App.

Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook. For news on the Western Cape click here.