It is important to be as prepared as possible for Eskom’s load-shedding and to be energy-wise. Notification from Eskom is often received at short notice, but Eskom has warned that the system remains severely constrained and unpredictable.
- Communication: Ensure that your cell phone, laptop, tablet and radio are always fully charged when power is available. This will allow you to be able to communicate with friends and family during load-shedding.
- Transport: Make sure that your vehicle always has fuel in the tank as most petrol stations are unable to pump fuel during power outages.
- Cash: Keep some cash on you as ATMs cannot operate without electricity.
- Security and safety: Backup batteries for electric gates, garage doors and security systems should be kept in a good working condition and be able to last through periods of load-shedding. Store temporary lighting such as battery-powered torches, gas lamps and candles in places where they will be easy to find in the dark.
- Eating: If you do not have a gas stove, prepare meals before the power is scheduled to be switched off. Boil water in your kettle and keep it in thermos flasks for hot drinks. You can also use an insulating cover on teapots, pots and pans to keep drinks and meals warm.
- Medication: Most medication requiring refrigeration can be kept in a closed fridge for several hours without spoiling, but you should check with your doctor or pharmacist if in doubt.
- Traffic lights: Intersections with traffic lights that are not working because of load-shedding should be treated as four-way-stops. The motorist who stops first may proceed first if the way is clear and safe to do so. Please stay calm and follow defensive driving techniques.
- Avoid power surges and nuisance tripping: If you know that your area will be affected by load-shedding, switch off appliances, geysers, pool pumps, air conditioners, lights and other electrical equipment to reduce the risk of damage caused when the power comes back on. Nuisance tripping can also occur and sometimes City teams will have to reset substations manually to restore power to a particular area. This might add to the length of time that it takes to restore power after load-shedding has been suspended. If in a City-supplied area and an outage carries on for longer than the scheduled load-shedding outage, please log a call for assistance. Often, customers mistake nuisance tripping for prolonged load-shedding.
- Switch off those appliances that you don’t need.
- Switch off your geyser and only switch it on for up to two hours per day. This will save a lot of electricity and it will save you money.
- Delay switching on lights and appliances until after the peak periods (between 17:00 and 21:00) whenever possible.
- Switch off your pool pump, geyser and other large electrical equipment, and never run both at the same time.
- Adjust air conditioners to 23°C if you need to use them.
- Visit www.SavingElectricity.org.za for more tips to save electricity and follow load-shedding developments on www.capetown.gov.za/loadshedding.