Eskom’s plan to control your geyser

Eskom’s plan to control your geyser

Submitted: Monday, October 2nd, 2023

Original Article: Link

Eskom’s plan to remotely control household electricity consumption is gaining momentum, with the utility successfully implementing a pilot programme in Fourways and looking to expand the installation of smart meters across the country.

Aside from improvements to the performance of its generation fleet, Eskom is looking to remotely manage household electricity demand by installing smart meters.

Eskom’s group executive for distribution, Monde Bala, said the rollout of smart meters to residential properties will continue apace in the coming months as part of Eskom’s demand-side management programme.

These smart meters will give Eskom the “ability to remotely manage demand from households”, said Bala.

These smart meters support two-way communication, which empowers Eskom to limit the power supply to a home.

Bala said the smart meters enable the utility to reduce the current passing into a household from 60 amps to 10 amps.

This allows the property to keep some basic appliances on, such as lights, a TV, and a WiFi router.

However, households will not be able to use energy-intensive appliances such as geysers, microwaves, and kettles.

Households consume roughly 16% of Eskom’s installed capacity, and during peak times, this rises to 35%.

Half of this consumption is from geysers. Thus, as part of the solution to end load-shedding, the government wants to ensure that geysers are turned off when not in use.

Ramokgopa clarified that this does not mean South Africans will not have hot water when needed. Instead, they will only have hot water when they need it.

South Africans turning off geysers “contributes to the resolution of the energy crisis” and will also result in significant savings for consumers.

The smart meter installation is estimated to cost R3,000, which Ramokgopa said will be recouped in savings from lower electricity consumption within five months.