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Don’t panic: City Power is just implementing ‘load limiting’

City Power will warn residents when they need to switch off non-essentials to avoid load shedding.

FILE: Smart meters will continue to be rolled out across the city. Picture: Freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG - City Power has urged residents not to panic as it implements 'load limiting' this week during peak hours.

About 92,000 homes have already had the smart meter installed, which allows City Power to warn residents when they need to switch off non-essentials or reduce load, in order to completely avoid Eskom's load shedding.

City Power's Sicelo Xulu said, "Your lights will go off for 30 seconds and they will go on again. This will happen five times. If you do not respond you'll then be cut off completely from the system. If you respond you will be able to stay on and not be load shed."

Smart meters will continue to be rolled out across the city.

These new meters mean that if you insist on keeping on your pool pump, washing machine, iron, stove and kettle all at the same time there will be no television for you that night.

Xulu says it's really about listening when they ask you to cut back.

"If you go through that process you'll be able to stay on and not be load shed."

And he says there's no way the machines can switch you off all by themselves.

"There is a human involvement, there had to be a thinking behind this. We've got the back office and basically over air we'll be able to send these messages."

City Power says this new system means they may be able to brighten your day by avoiding load shedding altogether.

In May, Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa dismissed claims that the municipality still owed more than R1 billion for the failed smart meter rollout project.

The city had announced that it terminated the contract with PEU Capital Partners for the installation of the devices, which started nearly two years ago.

By that time, only about 13,000 of the smart meters had been installed, out of an estimated one million consumers in the city.

Ramokgopa said AfriSake launched a court application for a review of the contract, which created difficulties for PEU.