With low demand, Eskom can now maintain its system, but warns it will be at a cost

The low power demand could have financial implications on consumers.
The low power demand could have financial implications on consumers.
Image: Eskom

Power utility Eskom says though the low electricity demand during the lockdown gives it an opportunity to maintain its power stations, the lower usage also has negative financial implications.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said electricity usage dropped by as much as 9,500MW on March 31 2020. On Sunday it was down 6,000MW, compared to before the lockdown.

“While this gives Eskom a much-needed break to carry out much-needed and long overdue maintenance on power stations, it obviously has big financial implications for Eskom and consequences for the consumers of electricity,” Mantshantsha said.

Last week, Eskom announced it did not foresee the implementation of load-shedding during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

Eskom said to protect the integrity of the system, it had started taking some generation units off the grid. These units are available to return to service at short notice should the need arise.

“Eskom advises that as an essential and critical services supplier, some of its personnel are exempt from the provisions of the lockdown. As such, we do not expect any impediments to the generation and supply of electricity during this period.” 

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