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PCP, DSM and Energy Efficiency

Demand-side management (DSM)

The constraints on Eskom’s energy supply will continue until additional supply-side initiatives become operational in 2012. To manage this constraint, there is a need to remove a certain amount of energy from the system. This can be achieved by co-generation, DSM and a substantial shift in energy saving behaviour. Eskom DSM is working to effect a reduction of 3 000MW by March 2011 and a further 5 000MW by March 2026. This involves the installation of energy efficient technologies to alter the load and demand profile of Eskom. These technical solutions are seen as hardwiring energy-efficiency measures which ensure a higher level of security of supply in the short to medium term.

The graph shows the average national hourly electricity demand. The data includes interruption of supply – the generated megawatts plus the demand not supplied to obtain the total national demand. The typical summer day profile consists of data from 1 February 2008 – 15 April 2008 and 1 October 2008 – 15 December 2008. It is relatively “flat” with high air-conditioner load during the day. Morning peak is usually at 12:00 and evening peak at 20:00. The typical winter day profile consists of data from 15 May 2008 – 15 August 2008. This is more “peaky” with high demand in the morning and evening due to heating requirements. Morning peak is usually between 07:00 and 09:00 and evening peak at 19:00.

The energy efficiency and demand-side management policy from DME guides the implementation of DSM, with energy and demand savings being verified by independent university measurement and verification professionals. Verifiable short-term DSM savings are included in Nersa’s multi-year price determination (MYPD) process.


Solar water heater subsidies

Eskom’s solar water heating strategy is an initiative that could lead to a reduction in demand of about 530MW on the national grid and a favourable contribution to reducing carbon emissions. At the core of the strategy is a subsidy offered to home owners, aimed at stimulating the uptake of solar water heaters, as it is believed that the high capital costs are limiting the rate of market acceptance of such systems.

Research will be conducted to examine whether the introduction of green bonds, or some other form of widespread climate finance, can be used to reduce the cost of solar water heating to the end user.

The programme within the residential, commercial and industrial sectors has seen an exponential growth in DSM savings, with the programme recently well exceeding its annual targets. The current year saving was 916MWRA, against the target of 645MW. This has increased the cumulative saving to 1 999MW since the inception of DSM in 2003.

Initially, Eskom DSM focused on realising energy and average demand savings during the evening weekday peak period (18:00 to 20:00) via energy services company projects in the industrial and commercial sectors and hot water load management within municipal environments. With the need to reduce demand, the focus expanded to include mass energy efficient programme rollouts that could be rapidly implemented. These included energy-efficient lighting utilising compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), solar water heaters and improving the efficiency of electric motors and pumps.

Eskom is continuing its efforts to raise public awareness of generation and transmission capacity constraints and encourage energy-saving behaviour through extensive communication campaigns and strengthening relationships with customers, municipalities and the public.

1.   The figures shown are the verified savings as achieved in the financial year (FY).
2.   Figures for the 2005 financial year include savings from inception in 2003.
3.   The 2007 financial year includes 99MW verified during the Cape focus. The savings are deemed sustainable and are therefore tracked and monitored in ongoing reporting.
4.   2008 financial year includes 67MW for DMP.

Please click here for more details of our DSM programme.

Power conservation programme (PCP)

The power conservation programme is a government initiative. The key components of PCP include the energy conservation scheme (ECS) to reduce energy consumption by 10% and electricity growth management to manage new electrical connections and consumption growth in line with available supply capacity.

An interim ECS was implemented on 1 July 2008, with the aim of converting into a formal scheme once the regulatory enablers are in place. DME regulations and Nersa rules will support the implementation of pricing signals as a vehicle to promote energy efficiency and investment in generation and thus reduce individual customers’ energy consumption.

This will be achieved by determining an allocation based on each customer’s energy consumption during the period from October 2006 to September 2007. Should customers exceed their monthly energy allocation, excess charges will be levied, which become more punitive the higher the degree to which the allocation is exceeded. It is envisaged that a “phased-in” approach will be taken, considering the current economic downturn and expected recovery.

Internal energy efficiency project

Eskom’s billion kilowatt-hour savings project focuses on internal initiatives to reduce energy consumption through education, communication, awareness and technically feasible and economically viable efficiency improvements within the organisation.
    • we incorporated energy efficiency criteria into board and Exco investment and procurement committee submission guidelines to ensure that the energy efficiency implications of all projects are assessed and considered in decision-making and to determine whether our suppliers are addressing energy efficiency within their businesses
    • we compiled a directive aimed at highlighting low-cost energy efficiency interventions that need to be implemented within the organisation
    • the power generation sector target as per the National Energy Efficiency Strategy (March 2005) was renegotiated taking into consideration current capacity constraints Measurement and verification were performed on projects to verify savings at Lethabo power station (lighting), Braamfontein (lighting) and the ERIC building in Rosherville (lighting and air conditioning) and various energy savings initiatives in Eskom buildings in the Northern region. These savings have accumulated to 36 785MWh from inception to date (9 053MWhRA for 2009).

    All the head office escalators were switched off to conserve energy

    Head office savings
    In November 2007, further measures to reduce energy consumption were implemented at Megawatt Park, the Eskom head office. The aim was to achieve at least a 10% saving.

    Over the seven-month period to May 2008, a total estimated saving of 2 831 271kWh was achieved compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. This is a saving of 14,7%. The total money saved was R501 780. Very little money was spent to achieve this saving. The lessons learned from this exercise are easily replicable throughout Eskom buildings.


    Please click here for more details of our head office savings case study.



    Internal savings 
    The Eskom internal energy savings of 36 785MWh equates to the following:  
    • running 3 000 high-income households for a year (1 000kWh/month) 
    • running 6 800 middle-income households for a year (450kWh/month) 
    • powering 61 000 basic electricity allowance households for a year (50kWh/month) 
    • powering 1 000 incandescent light bulbs (60W each) for about 70 years  
    • continually powering 1 000 geysers (3kW) for 1,4 years (geysers do not work all the time – only when water needs to be heated) 


    Please click here for more details of our internal energy efficiency programme.     


Contact information

Eskom head office: +27 11 800 8111
Eskom Group Communications: +27 11 800 2323
Eskom Development Foundation: +27 11 800 2758
Ethics office advisory service: +27 11 800 2791/3187
Confidential fax line: +27 11 507 6358
Physical address
Megawatt Park
Maxwell Drive
Postal address
PO Box 1091
Websites and email  
Eskom website:
Eskom environmental:
Eskom annual report:
Eskom Development Foundation:

Eskom Holdings Secretariat
N Msomi (Company Secretary)
Megawatt Park
PO Box 1091

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