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In an effort to deal with continuous loadshedding, various individuals and businesses have opted for alternative power sources to get them through the course of the day. However, in order to protect the power grid, Newcastillians can expect a new policy to be published by the Newcastle Municipality in the coming days.
The policy will focus on residents who are turning to Small Scale Embedded Generation (SSEG) for business or residential usage, whether it be petrol/diesel generators or solar.
No longer will Newcastillians simply be able to install electricity generators at their leisure. Instead, the Newcastle Municipality’s Faizel Cassim explained that residents will now have to get an inspection certificate, and must be registered with the Municipal Electrical Department.
Whereby, he further explained that the registration is free, and no charges will be applied. The COC Certificate, however, must be produced upon registration.
“This is meant to regulate the installations. If this is not regulated, wrong and poor-quality generation can cause damages to the Municipality’s grid and transformers, which leads to power outages and millions of Rands in repairs. The Municipality will then be blamed for poor maintenance and services,” stated Cassim.
The policy will also assist the Municipality in monitoring exactly how many SSEGs have been installed across Newcastle, so as to maintain a high standard of workmanship.
Moreover, Cassim said that the Newcastle Municipality had noted a problem in town. “One of the main issues the Municipality faces is that people are removing their ripple switches. Residents should know, anyone caught doing this can be fined R9 100. So, we are urging those who have removed their ripple switches, to please put them back accordingly,” he elaborated.
Ripple switches assist local municipalities during loadshedding, as to ensure Stage 1 runs smoothly and thereby, minimising the chances of Eskom escalating power outages to Stage 2.
Moreover, Cassim explained that the Newcastle Municipality initially became aware of people removing their ripple switches, after Eskom notified them that the power usage at Stage 1 was almost exactly the same as without it. A survey was then done, and the discovery was made that numerous Newcastle residents were attempting to dodge Stage 1
Addressing the street lights being on during the day, Cassim explained this was not due to neglect from the Newcastle Municipality. “I often receive complaints about the streetlights being on. We are on a time system and when there is loadshedding, it affects this time system. A team then has to go out and manually reset these timers accordingly.”
Lastly, discussing the time delays during loadshedding, Cassim said, “The Newcastle Municipality has teams that need to go out and manually implement loadshedding. Sometimes, if traffic is heavy, there will be delays as the team has to try and get from one part of town to another. We are now asking residents to be patient, as we do not have an automated system,” concluded Cassim.
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