The City of Cape Town Council has finally approved the long-awaited Power Heroes Programme, which will literally place the power in the hands of citizens to help the City end load shedding.
The final contract to the service provider is now being finalised, who will help implement this critical demand management programme, dubbed Power Heroes.
The initiative was first announced in 2022.
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Cape Town is the first city in South Africa to run an innovative voluntary demand reduction programme such as this.
Overall, Power Heroes will target 60MW in demand reduction, enough to protect against a full stage of load-shedding.
This will be achieved by switching off non-essential loads, such as geysers and pool pumps, through the installation of a smart device into the homes of participating residents.
The City says the programme is entirely voluntary and will be rolled out in phases. They believe it is one of the most cost-effective ways to mitigate load shedding.
How you can become a Power Hero
To reach the 60MW target, the City needs to sign up tens of thousands of commercial and residential customers.
People can opt to have a smart device installed in their home or business free of charge by the City’s appointed service provider or use a mobile app to manually reduce load at key times.
This smart device will enable the remote switching of non-essential loads like geysers, pool pumps, or non-essential appliances in commercial buildings.
Residents can soon register their interest in being a hero by visiting www.capetownpowerheroes.co.za.
Ending load shedding
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says in 2022/23, the City managed to reduce load-shedding levels by 14%, primarily through the Steenbras Hydro scheme.
He says the goal is to prevent the first four stages of Eskom load-shedding.
This will be achieved through a mix of Steenbras; 500MW of dispatchable energy bought on the open market, and demand management programmes, such as Power Heroes.
Hill-Lewis says they already have two rounds of procurement complete to buy power on the open market, and the Power Heroes programme is another step towards the goal to end load shedding.
In the same way that Cape Town worked together to avoid Day Zero, collective citizenry can also help achieve an end to load shedding.
Come on Cape Town, let’s do this, we can all be Power Heroes!