Introduction:

Eskom has re-introduced the real-time televised Power Alert updates to the public on the status of the electricity supply situation, starting with a partnership with SABC 1, 2 and 3. The aim of the Power Alert service is to provide feedback to the public on the real-time status of the grid, and to empower the public to help manage the demand and supply situation during periods of constraint.

The Power Alert mechanism:

Power Alert converts electricity demand data into status levels which are then communicated to the public.


  • The Power Alert makes use of real-time data and takes into account historical loads, current real-time loads, weather conditions, supply and network conditions.

  • This data is interpreted to generate the applicable colour-coded status level indicators.

  • The television broadcasting media (SABC 1, 2, 3) will communicate the information to residential consumers on week days during the evening peak period of 5 – 9 pm.

The Power Alert messages:

The message communicated by Power Alert informs the viewer of the status of the electricity supply system and provides energy-saving measures to address the particular situation. Four status levels have been identified with specific call-to-action measures as indicated below:

  • Green stable – Indicates that the grid is stable and thanks the public for using electricity wisely.

  • Green increasing - Indication that there is limited strain on the electrical supply. Residential consumers are requested to switch off unnecessary lights.

  • Orange – Indication that there is strain on the electrical supply. Residential consumers are prompted to switch off any unnecessary lights, the geyser and pool pumps for the evening peak period or until notified of a green status. The shedding of these loads is not expected to cause any discomfort to residential consumers.

  • Red - Indication that there is increasing strain on the electrical supply and that loadshedding is imminent. Residential consumers are further prompted to switch off any unnecessary lights, the geyser, pool pumps and additional loads such as non-essential appliances, air-conditioning and dishwashers. This is also requested for the evening peak period or until the system changes to green or orange status.

  • Black - Indication that there is significant strain on the electrical supply and that loadshedding is in progress. Residential consumers are prompted to switch off all loads that are not absolutely essential. This is also requested for the evening peak period or until the system changes to green or orange status.

By immediately responding to the televised Power Alerts residential consumers can make a significant difference to the electricity supply and demand situation. If all households switch off their geysers, the demand reduction will be about 2 475 MW which equates to the daily usage of a city the size of Tshwane.