Eskom continues to make progress with its programme of planned maintenance but the power system will remain extremely tight until new generating capacity comes on stream and essential generation maintenance is done.

The system outlook remains tight in summer, with different challenges due to the summer load profile. Unlike winter, where the demand increases during the evening peak (5pm to 9pm), the demand profile during summer is much flatter with an increased demand profile throughout the day, primarily due to air-conditioning and geysers.

Unlike winter where residential customers had the greatest impact, during the summer, it is primarily the commercial customers, particularly shopping centres and retail outlets that can make the biggest difference by installing energy efficient devices and lights.

“Electricity users are urged to pull together over the next few months and use electricity sparingly by ‘Living Lightly’ this summer,” Eskom said in a statement. “We urge all South Africans to partner with us to save 10% of their electricity usage especially during peak periods, from 5pm to 9pm. This will make it significantly easier to manage the power system during this challenging time, while also enabling us to do planned maintenance to ensure the reliability of our plant.”