Demand Side Management Program
A partnership between Eskom and Vodastra Technologies
Eskom is a South African electricity public utility created in 1923. The utility is the largest producer of electricity in Africa, is among the top seven utilities in the world in terms of generation capacity and among the top nine in terms of sales. South Africa’s marked economic growth in recent years has propelled electricity peak demand to rise at around 4% a year. Eskom is addressing this challenge by the expansion of supply options, a return to services program for three mothballed power stations and its Demand Side Management (DSM) program.
Aiming to influence electricity usage patterns of electricity consumers, Eskom is implementing DSM in South Africa through collaboration with the Department of Minerals and Energy and the National Electricity Regulator. The DSM strategy comprises a dual approach: to reduce electricity demand at peak periods (07:00-10:00 and 18:00-20:00) by shifting load to off-peak periods and to reduce overall electricity consumption (24-hour reduction) by installing energy-efficient equipment and optimizing industrial processes. Sustainable DSM projects often involve a combination of both methods.
Raising awareness among consumers
The program includes a broad range of marketing and public relations activities, and feeds directly into programs in different income segments as well as residential, commercial, industrial and institutional program activities.
School programs are also implemented to highlight the benefits and importance of using electricity efficiently to school pupils. DSM seeks to increase the awareness of students and faculties on energy efficient measures by providing participating institutions with resource packs, including teacher, learner and electricity audit guides.
The 1999 launch of the local efficient lighting initiative called Bonesa was among the major milestones in the early phase of DSM in South Africa. The Global Environment Facility and Eskom jointly funded this over a period of 3 years. Now the use of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) through customer education, advertising and marketing is being promoted. The focus is to lower the price of energy efficient globes. Within a few years, the price for CFLs dropped significantly due to joint sales promotions with local suppliers and increased volumes of CFLs.
With DSM everyone benefits in the following ways:
- Reduced electricity demand during peak periods, thus delaying additional capital investment to further increase electricity supply.
- Improved value of electricity service to customers by reducing costs – customers have a wide range of energy efficient options and financial benefits.
- Conservation of the environment by reducing emissions and water consumption of power stations.
- Support of macro-economic development through job creation and improved productivity.