Eskom didn’t’ have a very strong start to the year.
Despite the fact that our new reality is living in perpetual fear of load shedding, 2020 kicked off with talk of some hefty employee bonuses.
Not cool, and not a great way to get the public behind you in your efforts to sort things out.
Nevertheless, Eskom is appealing to the public to partner with them in testing a new ‘critical peak day tariff’ to deal with increased electricity demand.
BusinessTech spoke to them about what all of this means.
“Critical Peak Day pricing is a tariff option that has been internationally proven to reduce load on specific days when the system is extremely constrained,” it said.
“This is achieved by increasing the electricity price on these system-constrained days (critical peak days) and lowering the prices (compared to the normal tariff) on non-constrained days.”
The Eskom website describes ‘critical peak days’ as days that are “predetermined by Eskom’s System Operator when the System Operator deems it necessary to create “breathing space” in the power system to balance supply and demand”.
What that means is that on days when the electricity usage is very high, the cost of electricity will go up.
Before you panic, you should know that you will receive notifications before critical peak days. You also don’t have to participate.
Back to BusinessTech:
“The Critical Peak Day tariff option provides customers with the flexibility to partner with Eskom in a win-win situation for both. If customers choose to reduce their electricity consumption on critical peak days, the customers can save on the electricity bill,” it said.
…“An option will also be considered to have shorter critical peak hours. The number of critical peak days will limited per customer (e.g. not more than 20), and be predetermined by the System Operator, with a minimum of a day-ahead notification.”
So, this is an ‘opt-in’ system.
“If Eskom does decide to revive this tariff and if the customer wants to be part of the pilot, they will be put on the critical peak day tariff and be billed accordingly,” it said.
I think they’re going to have a tough time getting people to trust them. If this was a business, I’d sooner chew off my own arm than partner with Eskom.
The question is whether or not it will reduce load shedding.
If the answer is yes, and if they can prove that there’ll be no shenanigans going forward, I might be tempted to give it a try.
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