The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) on Monday kick started its Demand Side Management program, which is meant to control electricity demand in the country through load shedding.
The program which only covers Gaborone, Francistown, Lobatse, Selebi Phikwe and Jwaneng is intended to keep load shedding as minimal as possible during peak demand as well as creating equity in the conservation of electricity. The Corporation recently warned that it anticipates power supply challenges during peak times in the winter season due to low generation capacity and high demand for power within the region. As part of its Demand Side Management (DSM) initiatives to alleviate power supply deficit challenges, BPC said it will embark on a program to manage customer loads remotely.
The Corporation also explained that the program will only be used as a first step when there is shortage of power so as to minimize load shedding.┬á??“It will be limited to domestic and small business customers who will be required to maintain loads within 10A (2300Watts) during peak periods (6am-10am and 6pm-10pm). Exceeding the set load limit will lead to automatic disconnection of power supply which can only be restored after a period of one hour. It’s worth noting that continued non-compliance to the set load limit will lead to the power being supplied after the peak period (4 hours),” said BPC.??
At the same time, the stipulated 10A will typically allow customers to use at least 10 CFL lights (60Watts) and the television, any other appliances besides these should be switched off. While normal supply of 60A will be restored when power is available, customers are duly encouraged to continue to conserve electricity at all times.
While electricity demand has gone up in the country, electricity supply is still low as the country’s biggest power station Morupule B power plant is not fully operational. Botswana has had problems with power supply over the last five years after its main supplier; neighbouring South Africa drastically reduced the amount of power sold to Botswana due to its own electricity supply challenges.