Eskom’s chair, Mpho Makwana, recently spoke at the National Demand Side Management Indaba in Gauteng, stating that Demand Side Management (DSM) programs would help manage electricity supply and demand in South Africa. He emphasised the benefits of the effective implementation of DSM, as it would help ease pressure on the national power system while assisting consumers to save costs by being energy conscious.
According to BusinessTech, DSM is an electricity demand management measure encouraging consumers to adjust their electricity consumption level and behaviour. Eskom has introduced various initiatives, including using compact fluorescent lights, demand response, energy efficiency, distributed generation and energy storage, to reduce the pressure on the national power system.
Smart meters are another notable plan to reduce load shedding, allowing for remote electricity demand and supply management. Edison Makwarela, Eskom’s chief engineer, highlighted that the rollout of new meters presents many opportunities in the country. Smart meters can monitor and measure the amount and time of electricity usage and provide a more precise outlook of an area’s energy consumption and peak demand times.
Eskom plans to roll out smart meters as quickly as possible to reduce electricity theft and national load shedding by a whole stage. Major metros like Johannesburg and Tshwane are already updating their prepaid electricity meters. Tshwane moves all residential and commercial customers to a prepaid system as a step in a multi-year project.
The current prepaid electricity voucher system, the Standard Transfer Specification (STS), is ending its lifespan and will no longer produce voucher sequences after November 24, 2024. Eskom says it will ramp up its demand-side management (DSM) initiatives to manage better the supply and demand of electricity in South Africa. Makwana added that countries worldwide had implemented demand-side initiatives and created results.
“DSM is not a South African concept. It is a global phenomenon, with the best-in-class countries already using technology to manage demand. The array of policy measures to incentivise demand-side participation, promote energy conservation and reduce peak demand can be replicated in our country,” Makwana stated.