UNDERSTANDING THE NEW LOAD SHEDDING PROGRAM

UNDERSTANDING THE NEW LOAD SHEDDING PROGRAM

The country is experiencing frequent load shedding due to shortage of electricity available for distribution to customers. In order to ensure equitable distribution of power to all customers, ESCOM has introduced a new load shedding program model.

The new load shedding model is being explained below. Please refer to the Electricity Management Program on the website in order to understand how the new load shedding model works...

In the new program, a day which comprises of 24 hours, has been divided into 3 equal segments of 8 hours each. Consequently, ESCOM’s domestic customers have also been divided into 3 groups; A, B & C. A day in the new model starts from 4.00 am, the first day and ends at 4.00 am the next day.

On the first day of the program, the first group, (A), has electricity supply for 8 hours from 4.00 am to 12.00 noon. The second group, (B) has electricity supply for 8 hours from 12.00 noon to 8.00 pm; and the last group, (C) has electricity supply for 8 hours from 8.00 pm to 4.00 am. The first day of the program is finished.

In order to achieve fairness, the load shedding periods are being rotated. As such, on the second day of the program, group (C), (which was the last to have power supply on the first day) is the first to have power supply for 8 hours from 4am to 12 noon, Group (A) is second to be supplied power for 8 hours from 12.00 noon to 8.00 pm; group (B) is the last to be supplied power for 8 hours from 8.00 pm to 4.00 am. The second day is finished.

However, because Group (C) was the last to have power on the first day and the first to have power on the second day, Group C has power for a continual period of 16 hours; from 8pm on the first day to 12 noon on the second day. This is so as its 8 hours of power supply of the first day (from 8pm to 4am) is combined with its 8 hours of power supply of the second day (from 4am to 12 noon), making it a total of 16 hours. This shall be the same case for any group that is supplied power last on any particular given day. On the following day, it shall be the first to be supplied power. As such, it shall have a continual supply of power for 16 hours.

Due to the rotation, group (A), which was the first to be supplied power on the first day (from 4 am to 12 noon), is the second to be supplied power on the second day (from 12 noon to 8 pm). As its load shedding started at 12 noon on the first day, it ends at 12 noon on the second day, making it a total of 24 hours of load shedding for group A. Similarly, group (B) which was second to be supplied power on the first day (from 12 noon to 8pm) is the third to supplied power on the second day (8 pm to 4 am). As its load shedding started at 8 pm on the first day, it also ends at 8 pm on the second day, making it a total of 24 hours of load shedding for group B.

However, Group C which was the last to be supplied power on the first day (from 8pm to 4am) and the first to be supplied power on the second day (from 4am to 12noon) will be load shed from 12 noon on the second day to 12 noon on the third day. This is so since it was the first to be supplied power on the second day, and the will be the second to be supplied power on the third day.

To allow for smooth switching operations, ESCOM has further built-in an allowance period of 1 hour in between the load shedding phases so that its engineers responsible for switching operations will have ample time to switch on and off customers as per the planned programme. This allowance of 1 hour results into a total of 25 hours of load shedding.

This cycle continues for the rest of the week.

In light of this new load shedding model, ESCOM is advising its customers to be guided by the published Electricity Management Program for their planning purposes. All factors being equal, ESCOM will strive to adhere to the published load shedding allocations in the Electricity Management Program.

However, ESCOM is aware that some customers may experience extended periods of no power supply due to faults that may happen alongside implementation of the load shedding programme. ESCOM is encouraging customers to report faults to Faults Reporting Centres whenever they experience no power supply for prolonged durations outside the load shedding allocations in the published Electricity Management Program.

ESCOM is assuring its customers that good progress is being made in regards to short, medium and long term mitigating interventions to solve the current energy challenges in the country.

ESCOM is further reminding its customers to observe energy saving tips in order to minimize the impact of the power outages due to insufficient power capacity.