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South African state-owned power utility, Eskom, is offering free load profile audits to assist business customers to free up existing electrical capacity without having to invest in new points of supply and/or upgrades in supply.

The Load Profile Audit and Load Optimisation Solution, offered by Eskom's energy advisors, forms part of a basket of initiatives and incentives tailored to support business growth, by efficiently increasing production, improving business efficiencies and thereby improving job creation and retention to the benefit of the national economy. Read more: Kenya Power to drive regular audits to maximise production

The parastatal explained in a statement that having a clear understanding of the potential positive impact of load optimisation and how it can maximise a business’s output requires customers to gather energy use intelligence. For example:

  • Understanding their electrical systems and associated processes, for example, irrigation for farmers, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems for facilities managers and manufacturing processes for industrialists.
  • Knowing their energy needs.
  • Recognising where and when energy is used during any given period.
  • Investigating the latest technologies and process developments.
  • Analysing how to reduce energy investment costs, e.g. new supply points.
  • Considering how energy use patterns can be shifted from peak to off-peak time-of-use periods and/or standard periods.
  • Considering how seasonal energy use patterns can be managed.
  • Managing the constraints on their systems to optimise energy usage.

Eskom’s energy advisors specialise in assisting customers to gather intelligence and understand their energy needs.

This understanding of energy use patterns in a specific operation helps to determine how much additional capacity is needed and how to restructure or trim current demand to free up capacity to grow the operation.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe explained in a statement: “Opportunities for load optimisation may include establishing a regular maintenance programme, adding and managing power factor correction, switching off unnecessary equipment or processes during certain times of the day, and shifting demand from peak to off-peak time-of-use periods to help free up capacity.

"Eskom’s free load profile audits help to improve energy productivity across all sectors of the economy in support of business growth.”