The City of Johannesburg has unveiled a new load-limiting initiative which will help to curtail household consumption and reduce the potential of load-shedding.

Briefing reporters at Aspen Hills Nature Estate on Tuesday, Johannesburg Executive Mayor Parks Tau described the initiative as a flagship for the city.

Through load limiting, City Power will have the ability to inform residents using smart meters of a need to reduce the load on the grid by sending smses.

The sms will advise consumers to reduce power by switching off non-essential appliances. This is done via smart meters which will switch off power if the consumer does not reduce load.

After the consumer has received an sms, the consumer will have 30 seconds to switch off appliances after which the power will go off.

This will continue to happen until the consumer heeds the instruction to reduce their power consumption. Once the consumer has reduced the load, power will come back up.

This technology can avert load-shedding.

A total 84 smart meters have been installed at homes in Aspen Hills.

City Power will implement load limiting in two phases firstly on demand when Eskom issues notification to municipalities to shed load due to constrained supply.

Secondly, the implementation of load limiting will be scheduled in advance to reduce consumption and reduce the pressure on the grid.

According to the Executive Mayor, the success of the initiative rests on cooperation with communities. “The success of the programme is not only dependent on technology but on residents also being participants,” said Tau.