BY KHULEKANI MAGUBANE, BDLive 25 FEBRUARY 2015
The City of Johannesburg is due to become the first municipality in the country to implement a tariff system that incentivises households to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak periods, the metroâ€™s power utility, City Power, says.
The National Electricity Regulator of SA (Nersa) had given it approval to implement the residential time-of-use tariff system, which the utility believes will lessen pressure on the grid, City Power said on Tuesday.
The system, which is already in use to manage power demand of industrial customers, would allow smart meter users to save on consumption and allow City Power to “safeguard security of supply”, the utility said.
Eskom is in a quandary over cash constraints and power supply problems, which have led to rolling blackouts. It has now fallen on provincial governments and municipalities to formulate plans to alleviate pressure on the national power grid.
The City of Johannesburg is also looking to convert the gas flared at Pikitupâ€™s landfill sites into gas power.
City Power will work to draw more users to its smart meter system, after Nersa gave it approval last month. The time-of-use tariff system will kick in from July. In order to encourage users to join the system, the city will charge a lower tariff during off-peak hours so as to encourage a reduction in consumption during the peak hours, which are 7-10am and 6-9pm on weekdays.
City Power MD Sicelo Xulu said in a statement that the utility wanted to encourage residential users to change their energy consumption patterns. “Evening demand peaks are very expensive for City Power and often cause overloads and outages. The high cost of servicing the demand for power during peak periods is ultimately passed on to consumers, so a reduction during the peak periodâ€¦ (will) benefit the consumer, City Power and Eskom generation,” Mr Xulu said.
City Power will work to draw more users to its smart meter system.
Picture: REUTERS/ISSEI KATO