Some explanation as to the current power issues we’re having and what “Load Rotation” is…

You would have over the past few days suffered a few power unplanned power outages, that were not on any loadshedding schedule.

Here is the back story:

Eskom supplies power to City Power via many inbound supplies, one being in Randburg on Hans Schoeman Street. There are three transformers here and one has failed, leaving only two to supply power to the many suburbs the station feeds. During peak periods the demand exceeds what the station is able to supply and then trips. To get the power back on, City Power has to switch back on all the affected areas one by one to ensure that it does not trip again. If it trips again, the whole switch on process starts from the beginning.

Eskom has conducted repairs to their transformer and said that the failed transformer will only be brought back online on 4 August 2015! City Power is doing their best to get Eskom to switch it on sooner.

What does this mean for you? 

City Power due to the Eskom transformer fail has today introduced “Load Rotation” for the suburbs (see below) affected to limit the load during peak periods and to hopefully prevent a total trip again. It is unknown how long this will last for (possibly till 4 August). This “Load Rotation” will attempt by suburb rotation to only switch off power during the two peak periods of the day once (instead of twice) to the affected areas of supply.

How can I be kept up to date?

The best way is to follow City Power on Twitter (@CityPowerJHB). Here the latest updates are tweeted, quite regularly and City Power at times responds to individual tweets. The Call Centre is not run by City Power, but rather the City of Johannesburg and they often do not have updated information or it takes an age for your call to be answered.

What is the long term prognosis?

Councillors are all frustrated with City Power and the way they function. Never think that Councillors have all the latest updates at our fingertips! Whilst we often request updates from the local depot as to what is happening, we often do not get them.

What is “Load Limiting”?

We know just as much as you know! City Power nor the City of Johannesburg has briefed Councillors on “Load Limiting”. We will attempt to get more information from City Power so we can better answer our residents. It seems from 1 August 2015, customers with smart meters “must choose between loadlimiting or load shedding”, a Tweet that City Power put out yesterday. Again, without informing Councillors of their plans so we can answer your questions!