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Eskom critical peak day pricing pilot project

By Staff Writer
Eskom has revealed that a 'peak day' pilot project that it's been running since October 2013 has produced good results and made participating households use less electricity. Participating households of the pilot have been 'encouraged' to cut electricity consumption during peak periods by being given a choice to pay extra or reduce consumption.
"At this stage the tariff is only available to the pilot customers and Eskom will, once the results of the pilot are completed, make a decision as to whether to make this a standard offer to customers. The initial results of the pilot are very promising where customers are showing on average a 25% reduction in consumption on the critical peak day," said an Eskom spokesperson.
According to Eskom, households that do reduce their power consumption during these critical peak days have benefited from a 95% reduction in their energy charges for the year as they have avoided the higher tariff during the critical peak days.
The project is set to run until October this year (2015). This pilot is only available for time-of-use metering households, meaning that residential customers cannot participate at this stage of the project.
Reducing costs
It's no surprise that the government run power utility has had to find and test new ways to reduce power consumption. Eskom has made the news recently due to its financial problems, which may see the power utility running out of funds for its diesel generators by mid-February. For more information click here.
Commenting on the peak day pilot project, a spokesperson for Eskom told Justmoney: "Customers are informed a day ahead of the critical peak day and they decide whether to reduce consumption or to pay the higher price. Critical peak day pricing is a dynamic pricing option that is used throughout the world as a tool for customers to respond to system constraints and to save money if they reduce electricity usage."
Households that are taking part in the pilot programme are notified 24 hours before a critical peak day via email and SMS. The higher tariff will be implemented between six o'clock in the morning and ten o'clock at night. During these days it is very expensive for the power utility to run for the 16 peak hours and the remaining standard hours of the day.
"The design of the pilot limits the number of critical peak to 17 days per annum [meaning that] Eskom cannot call every day as a critical peak day," explained the spokesperson.
Customers will have to wait until after October to find out whether this project will be implemented as a permanent offering to customers, and whether or not residential customers will be able to participate.
For more information on the critical peak day tariffs visit the Eskom website.

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