Ricochet News

Avert cold showers by changing the times your geyser is switched off says Metro

Jul 12, 2018
Avert cold showers by changing the times your geyser is switched off says Metro

Did you notice that your bathwater or that welcome shower after a tough day is somewhat frostier since the beginning of July? If so, you might want to change the times when your geyser is switched off, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality advised residents.

"Residents definitely noticed that during the recent forced load-shedding, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) remotely switched off more than 90 000 geysers instead of the electricity supply to suburbs, drastically reducing those inconvenient hours without electricity," said Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Media Management Officer, Kupido Baron.

"We, the business sector, the business sector and power utility Eskom also saw the benefit of the system and now have a pilot project within Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality during July and August 2018.  The focus of this pilot project is to determine how to increase the benefit even more for residents with the geyser load demand management."

Baron said that this means that geysers will be remotely switched off from 17H00 to 21H00 every day in July and August.

"Once the pilot project has been completed the switching times will revert back to summer switching times 08:00 to 10:00 during morning peak and 18:00 to 20:00 during evening peak," he added.

"This exercise also helps to save the Municipality on overtime, network stability as well as the lifespan of switchgear equipment."

He said that contractors from Escotek is currently busy doing inspections and validate the functionality of the system.

"The Municipality urged consumers not to by-pass the unit as the equipment belongs to the Municipality and any illegal interference could lead to the normal tampering fee of R4000 for the first offence," Baron added.

"We want to thank all the customers for their loyal support in the past, and we would like the support in this regard as well."


A mass roll-out of the Geyser Load Management System (LMS) was initiated during 2006 with future energy shortages during peak electricity periods predicted by the Metro and appointed contractor Escotek Group.

"This system was finally commissioned during 2009 with close to 90 000 installations. Since 2009 the system has assisted the Metro on numerous occasions with deferring load from peak to off peak electricity periods which occurs from 8:00 to 10:00 in the morning and from 18:00 to 20:00 weekly every night," Baron described. 

"The country is making use of mixed renewable energy resources and Photo Voltaic and Wind is playing a big role in this. However, with the lower solar production in the evening, the National Grid has a sharp uptake as the sun diminishes during late afternoon and therefore Load Shedding was necessary to avoid any black outs due to this higher demand on the network.

"The Nelson Mandela Municipality has not experienced any load shedding during these winter months, while other South African cities had load shedding of up to 4 hours per day.

"The main reason for this is that NMBM only used the Geyser Controlled system to shift the required energy load requested by Eskom. Therefore all the areas, traffic lights and businesses could operate normally without any interference to the electricity network."

He added that as the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, it is our responsibility to ensure that all residents of the city receive a fair and efficient supply of electricity at all times.

"On their part, residents have a duty to use electricity conservatively at all times. Often, easy access to electricity is taken for granted, leading to wasteful practices. By making a concerted effort together, we can increase the likelihood of a steady supply of electricity to the Bay."

Baron said that Eskom has also changed the traffic demand structure, which will mean that customers on time of use billing needs to be aware of the time changes.