The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) is urging industries that will resume operations this month, to adhere to energy efficiency practices in order to avoid loadshedding.
As of 1 May, South Africa entered into Stage 4 of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, with the mining industry and other companies permitted to start operations.
Across the globe, electricity demand has declined by an estimated 15% due to lockdown and confinement measures.
In South Africa, the lockdown has led to a drop of 30% in energy demand (7,500MW a day) as energy-intensive mining and manufacturing industries, which account for about 60% of national consumption, have not been fully operational.
SANEDI warns that the phased unlocking of the economy coupled with imminent colder winter months, will lead to an increase in energy consumption and subsequent strain on the power grid.
“We must at all costs avoid moving into another bout of loadshedding, which we experienced prior to lockdown,” comments Nkululeko Buthelezi, interim chairperson of SANEDI.
The organisation stresses that loadshedding will have a devastating effect not only on the recovering economy, but also on the health services such as quarantine and isolation facilities, as well as those convalescing at home.
“We, therefore, encourage all South African households and businesses to use energy wisely, to avoid unnecessary wastage of this valuable resource. Where possible, energy-efficient practices must be implemented to lessen the strain and optimise usage,” said Buthelezi.
The best energy efficiency advice is to always ensure that energy-consuming appliances and devices that are not in use, are switched off.
Energy efficiency practices
Other easily implementable and short-term attainable energy efficiency practices include switching over to energy-saving LED globes, using LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) gas for cooking and heating.
As well as always purchasing energy-efficient appliances, which are clearly indicated in the form of an Energy Efficient Appliance Label, displayed on most domestic appliances for sale, when allowed to do so under the lock-down Regulations.
“We must emphasise the need for everyone to work together, just as we have stood together as a nation, to fight the virus. We urge people to switch-off non-essential appliances and to become more aware of how we use energy over the next few months,” Buthelezi concluded.