Electricity

 
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CITY OF CAPE TOWN 13 JUNE 2019 City warns of fake electricity officials scamming residents

 

The City of Cape Town has been made aware of an apparent scam where criminals, posing as City electricity officials, are attempting to gain access to residents’ homes.  Read more below:

 

Apparent criminals, dressed in municipal clothing, visit residents at home and insist they open the front door so that electricity infrastructure, including plugs and wiring, can be checked.

 

‘The City of Cape Town does not have members of staff going door to door to check on plugs and wiring. These are not the responsibility of the City but of the resident. The City does check on electricity meters periodically but must make an appointment with the resident.

 

‘All municipal workers and contractors must carry a City-issued identification card and work-order number specific to that dwelling. Residents should ask to check the official identification card before allowing anyone onto their property.

 

‘The identification card must display the City logo, the name and surname of the staff member or mandated contractor, and must contain an embedded photo of the staff member or mandated contractor. Residents are not to allow any person onto their premises until they have verified these details. We ask our residents to be vigilant,’ said Councillor Phindile Maxiti, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change.

 

The City is currently rolling out a free electricity meter replacement programme across the metro. The City does target marketing and mailbox drops of any planned work to be carried out in the area. Each meter replacement has a notification number on the City’s internal system, which the City Call Centre can verify should a resident enquire. Residents can make an appointment for their meter to be changed at a time that suits them.

 

Any suspicious behaviour must be reported to the City’s law enforcement agencies or to the South African Police Service (SAPS).  Members of the public can verify whether visitors to their home are in fact employed by the City by:

 

·         phoning the Call Centre on 0860 103 089 to confirm whether work is being carried out in their area

·         informing the official that they will allow them entry only once the Call Centre has verified their identity

 

Residents can find out which suburbs have had this work completed and if their suburb has been selected for compulsory upgrades by viewing the full project schedule on the City’s website.

 

End 

Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town 

Media enquiries: Councillor Phindile Maxiti, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change: Cell: 083 726 9414, Email: Phindile.Maxiti@capetown.gov.za (please always copy media@capetown.gov.za)

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URGENT CITY ISSUES ESKOM LOAD SHEDDING SCHEDULE:
Please access the following link for load-shedding information. 

http://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/residential-utility-services/residential-electricity-services/load-shedding-and-outages#section-docs 


The Load shedding areas and map info is in a PDF available to view and download at the bottom of this page.

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Preparing for an outage

 

·         Charge your phone

·         Fill your tank – petrol station pumps don’t work during outages

·         Have some cash handy as ATMs won’t work

·         Switch electric garage doors and security gates to manual operation

·         Make sure you have torches, batteries, candles and matches, and put them somewhere where they can be easily found in the dark

·         Keep boiled water in a thermos flask for hot drinks

 

Outage Tips:

Switch off and unplug all electronics and appliances when the power is due to go off as it may come back with a spike in the voltage, which can damage electronic devices such as computers, television sets, DVD players, etc.

 

If your electricity remains off for longer than the period specified in the schedule, SMS the City’s technical operations centre on 31220. The restoration of power sometimes results in what is described as ‘nuisance tripping’, which often goes unreported due to the assumption that the outage is due to load shedding.


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TOP 10 best ways to save electricity at home:
No cost options- simple behaviour change
Turn geyser temperature down to 60deg Celsius 
Maintaining the temperature at 60oC uses less electricity (energy) than maintaining a temperature of 70oC. Works best when geyser and pipes are insulated. Don’t drop it below 60oC for health reasons. In most cases, the thermostat is located in the little cover over the electrical element of the geyser. Switch off the electricity circuit at the mains, undo the cover, and then turn down the thermostat using a screw driver. Or hire a plumber to help you (for safety reasons, make sure you tell those in the house that you are switching off the electricity for this purpose).

Use less hot water
For example shower instead of bath, and take shorter showers. Only fill the kettle as much as you need it. Wash a full load of dishes, rather than one dish at a time. Use cold water where possible for laundry washing. 

Switch off equipment when not in use
Turn appliances off at the wall plug, rather than leaving them on standby as this can still draw about 20% or more of normal electricity use. (Examples are TVs, music systems, computers, phone chargers etc.) Also turn the geyser off when you go on holiday.

Reduce pool pump operating hours
If you have a pool with a cleaning system pump, reduce its operating hours to the minimum e.g. 6 hours a day. Clean filters regularly, and consider a pool cover and turning off the pump at times in winter.

Reduce excessive heating or cooling
Space heating in winter is a big power ‘guzzler’, and the same for summer cooling for those homes with cooling systems. Use localised equipment rather than central air-conditioning or heating systems, and only heat or cool occupied rooms. The room temperature should not be more than 10 degrees (Celsius) more or less than the outside/ ambient temperature. Fan or oil heaters with thermostats are best, and avoid under-floor heating. In summer use a fan rather than air-conditioning. But rather than use equipment at all, the best ‘no cost’ saving options are things like wearing warmer clothing and using blankets in winter or opening the windows in summer.

Low cost options- investing under R1000
Install an efficient shower head
Cape Town water bylaws limit shower flow rates to no more than 10 litres per minute. To test this at home, hold a bucket under the showerhead for 12 seconds. Measure the amount of water within the bucket with a measuring jug. If there is more than 2 litres then your showerhead is inefficient. A good, modern product will save both water and electricity without compromising your shower experience, and the saving usually pays back the investment within a few weeks or months. See www.eskomidm.co.za for approved suppliers.

Insulate the geyser
A geyser ‘blanket’ maximises heat retention. Check heat loss first using a basic ‘hand test’. If the geyser is warm then it’s losing heat and needs better insulation. Particularly necessary for older geysers. Appoint a good installer or do a thorough job yourself, and check the insulation is still in place after a few days/ weeks because installation isn’t always straightforward and can come undone. Also insulate the water pipes leading from the geyser for the first 3 metres. See www.eskomidm.co.za for approved suppliers.

Install efficient lighting
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) use 75% less power than old incandescent bulbs, and last much longer. Note that CFLs contain small amounts of harmful chemicals, so please dispose of them safely. Best is to take them to safe ‘drop off’ points e.g. at retailers like Woolworths or Pick n Pay. New ‘light-emitting diodes’, or LEDs, are even more efficient than CFLs, and last 130 times longer than CFL bulbs. They have limited applications in homes at this stage, but are ideal replacements for halogen down-lighting. They save the most, and although they may be currently expensive the cost is coming down as the technology develops. Of course, switching off lights in unoccupied rooms is also an obvious way to save.

Invest to save: 
Install a solar water heater
This can save the most electricity of all. It typically saves about two thirds of water heating cost, but this varies and it should be installed with a timer for the best possible saving. With rising electricity tariffs, and the new subsidies from Eskom (see www.eskomidm.co.za), the payback period is now no more than 5 years. Install a heat pump as an alternative, if a solar water heater is not possible. Heat pumps can achieve similar savings but they are a new technology for homes, so they are not well tested yet and may require more maintenance than a solar water heater.

Insulate the ceiling/ roof
A ceiling and good roof insulation can keep the home 5 degrees (Celsius) warmer in winter, and 10 degrees cooler in summer. More comfortable indoor temperatures mean less need for electrical heating and cooling, with savings of about 75% for adding both a ceiling and insulation, or 25% for just adding insulation (if there is already a ceiling). Insulating other parts of the house also helps (e.g. stopping heat loss through windows or under doors), but the highest savings are from roof insulation.

Other important advice:
Measure and monitor your home electricity consumption and costs.
Educate everyone in the home, including children and domestic helpers.
Remember that saving requires both behaviour and equipment. E.g. it’s no use installing an efficient shower head if you then shower for twice as long.
This information is provided by the City of Cape Town, based on research about the most impactful and cost-effective ways to save electricity in mid-to-high income households.
For more information contact sarah.ward@capetown.gov.za, or visit the City's electricity saving campaign website: www.savingelectricity.org.za.
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