1 October 2012 – South Africa’s national utility, Eskom, has expressed its thanks to those customers who have responded to the Power Alert messages which are broadcast on TV each evening. These customers’ efforts in switching off non-essential appliances during peak hours have made a significant difference to demand.

The utility’s audited estimates show that during February 2012, the Power Alert achieved a 326 MW reduction in residential demand, equivalent to more than 3.6 million laptops being switched off across South Africa. During March, a 346 MW reduction was achieved, equal to nearly 580,000 fridges being switched off. During April, a 421 MW reduction was achieved, equivalent to more than 140,000 electrical geyser elements being switched off.

During May 2012, a saving of 428 MW was achieved in response to the Power Alert, which, as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, is equivalent to removing more than 13,000 cars off the roads. And during June, a saving of 430 MW was achieved − the biggest drop in residential demand for the year to date – which is more than the amount required to power a city like Mangaung (Bloemfontein).