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Wednesday, 13 July 2022 15:24

Eskom downgrade load shedding for Wednesday and Thursday.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Eskom will no longer implement stage 4 load shedding on Wednesday (13 July), saying it has enough capacity to keep rolling blackouts at stage 3.

Additionally, the overnight load shedding at Stage 2 will be reduced to Stage 1 from midnights to 05h00 on Thursday, it said.

Load shedding for Thursday, however, remains as previously communicated.

In its previous statements, Eskom warned that generation capacity shortages would persist for “the next few weeks” and that load shedding schedules would change as and when the available capacity changes.

"As the generation capacity shortages persist over the next few weeks, load shedding will continue to be implemented at various stages. Eskom cautions the public that it will still take a few weeks for the power generation system to recover," it said.

"Eskom would like to remind the public that load shedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid. We therefore urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly especially during these uncertain times on the power system.

For access to other load shedding schedules, Eskom has made them available on loadshedding.eskom.co.za.

Smartphone users can also download the app EskomSePush to receive push notifications when load shedding is implemented, as well as the times the area you are in will be off.

Meanwhile Banking group Nedbank is partnering with Hohm Energy to finance and install solar power solutions in South Africa. The service will be offered to all homeowners, and not limited to Nedbank mortgage clients, it said.

The financial services provider said it has made solar installations easily accessible to its home loan clients by allowing them to fund the equipment via a readvance or further loan on their mortgage bond.

Now, the bank is making solar energy funding available to all, including non-Nedbank clients.

"Our new asset-backed solar finance solution, provided through MFC, is available to anyone wanting to install a solar energy solution on their property, no matter who their mortgage bond is with, or even if their property isn’t bonded at all," it said.

The recent spate of intensive load-shedding has made life and work unpredictable and very difficult for most South Africans. Unfortunately, the consensus view is that load-shedding is likely to continue for at least the next five years and will probably get worse before it gets better."

Ciko Thomas, group managing executive in Nedbank Retail and Business Banking, said that solar solutions have proven to be an effective way for households to move off Eskom’s grid, or to at least lower their dependency on the ailing power utility.

"Solar energy systems have declined massively in price over the past few years, with some solar photovoltaic (PV) components reducing in price by up to 90% over the past 15 years, "he said.

"It means that ‘going off the grid’, or at least reducing dependency on Eskom power, is now within reach for many homeowners."

Thomas said that applicants do not require a property valuation, typically needed when applying for a readvance or further loan, and compared the process to that when purchasing a car.

"We have elected to team up with trusted energy partners Hohm Energy, who will help our clients with expert guidance through the entire process of assessing their energy requirements, finding a solution that fits their needs, overseeing the installation and providing after-installation support," he said.