Close to 5.4-million electrical element geysers in South Africa use approximately 2 940 MW electricity between 5pm and 9pm, the period of peak demand for electricity in winter.
Geysers, which are responsible for up to 50% of homeowners’ electricity bills, are so energy intensive that if all of them were to be switched off during this time (5pm – 9pm), enough electricity would be saved to power Durban and Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein.
“The evening peak can reach a critical point almost daily when demand for electricity increases by about 4 000 MW. By switching off between 5pm and 9pm, householders can make a dramatic contribution towards Eskom’s ability to keep the lights on this winter,” says Andrew Etzinger, Senior General Manager for Integrated Demand Management at Eskom.
Geysers can be switched off during 5pm and 9pm without affecting households. Water in a geyser’s tank stays warm after it is turned off, with temperatures dropping by a minimal 10ºC over a period of 24 hours if no water is used during this period.
Etzinger added that reduced electricity usage by householders from now on into Spring is of the utmost importance. “To keep the lights on this winter, we need to join a national effort to switch off geysers between 5pm and 9pm; this effort is, undoubtedly, the most immediate way to ensure there is enough electricity for everyone every day during the colder months,” Etzinger says.
For more information on Eskom funding to replace a conventional electrical element geyser with a heat pump or solar water heating system please visit www.eskom.co.za/idm.
Issued by Eskom