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4 hours ago, YellowTapemeasure said:

Yes, you are.

Firstly, I'm no leftist libertarian, and I am not going to apologise for it, or for thinking the way that I do.

In my own case, I have, at my own expense, and using my own (after taxation) money, purchased, installed and paid VAT on infrastructure that will relieve Eskom from their mandate (and until recently monopoly as a sole supplier) to supplying the daily 10kWh that it used to supply me with, sporadically and whenever whenever they felt like it. Their power supply was so erratic and unreliable and I wasn't able to generate any form of reliable income stream working from home. Their inability to fulfill their legislative mandate, I might add, is no fault of my own.

The outcome is that as of today, I am able to provide a far more reliable power supply than Eskom, and I do it both day AND night, so Eskom's argument that I am "...forcing them to ramp up power at a faster rate at night" is total rubbish at best and completely economical with the truth .  

The truth is exactly the other way around. It is because of their inability (for whatever reasons, there are many which I will not go into here) to run a decent utility, (which BTW was at one stage considered the most efficient in the world, notwithstanding the fact that they had a monopoly on supply), that I have had to dig into my own pocket to provide energy for myself. I have incurred personal capital expenditure, and I am faced with current and future maintenance costs for infrastructure which I have, at my own volition, installed in order to meet my needs (to be a productive citizen!?).

I am the one taking the risk of a long-term investment (15+ years just to break even) in something that I doubt that I will ever see a return on. In doing so, however, I have relieved them of their duty to supply my home with that 10kWh per day, which, due to their (self-inflicted) shortage, they can distribute and supply to the many in need. For that, I think that at the very least, I (and all the other home solar power users) actually deserve a big "thank you". In fact, Eskom should actually go on its hands and knees to thank home and business solar power owners, for their fortitude, their investment, their long-term commitment to this country, and their ability and bravery to get involved in something which is not their core competency, and which actually helps Eskom deliver (whatever) service (is left) to those less fortunate.

Instead, Eskom decides that we are the enemy, and punishes us with additional taxation An interesting strategy 😆

assigns thank you for that GIF

           

 

Well said. 

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1 hour ago, Bobster said:

So you've disconnected from the grid? 

The problem that any utility would have is lots of grid-tie systems. You dont have such a system. I don't have such a system. That doesn't mean that there aren't such systems. The question is how many such systems. 

If Eskom can produce data showing the "duck curve" then we need to stop arguing about who they're out to punish and start thinking in terms of solutions. 

There's a bigger issue. You have made yourself energy self sufficient. I'm a way towards that though this run of overcast weather on the highveld is showing me that I need grid or a generator. But if you and I keep our lights on if Eskom goes under, the country is in a world of trouble and so are we and so is everybody else in it.

No, I am not disconnected, but I am self sufficient. I do not need the grid to survive, it can fail tomorrow and I can provide for those that I have a mandate (and a responsibility) to provide for. The little that I do use (and BTW pay for, and which is under 0.25 kWh per day) is purely to keep my inverter in sync with the grid. I can turn it off with no adverse effects. This past week of overcast weather has proven it.  

Please allow me to correct you once more, if I may: The first and foremost problem that "any utility" has is not grid-tie systems, it''s fulfilling its legislative mandate. If anyone "needs to be punished", then it's themselves for not carrying this out. For not decreasing their expenses, especially in terms of bloated, overpaid and incompetent workforce, and the billions, or shall we say trillions in corruption, as well as their failure to recover funds from their debtors. For not retaining the skills which they so willingly forced out and paid off with golden handshakes in the late 1990s and early 2000s, as well as their failure to plan for newer and cleaner power stations and IPPs.

How and why does this all suddenly become my fault, just because Eskom could not deliver on their (monopoly) mandate? So now all of a sudden I must pay for something that I do not use? "The user pays" principle was great when it was e-tolls, but now the non-user must pay even more than those who use?

Why would I want to pick a reed and start flagellating myself with it? You can do so, good luck, I will not be joining you, and I don't know anyone that is sober and of sound mind that would.

Edited by YellowTapemeasure
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You do understand that it's sub-editors who have said that Eskom are "punishing" PV users? Eskom are not using that language. 

You are also attacking language thst I haven't used. The words "first and foremost" are not mine and you are not correcting me.

Indeed you seem to ignore the points I do raise and "correct" me on things I haven't said. 

I'm also no kind of libertarian. Leftist? Well we'd need to discuss some things that aren't appropriate to this board to figure out who is left or right of whom. 

It might be more helpful if you deal with what I actually say rather than what you imagine my political leanings to be. 

You actually raised an interesting technical point here. Why do you need to synchronise with the grid if you don't use it? Or is 10 kw/h a minimal figure you can survive on but you actually use more? 

Edited by Bobster
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Here is something you said 

Posted 9 hours ago

   12 hours ago,  Brani said: 

So Eskom say customers with PV are being subsidized by the customers with no PV.

That's so. Remember that Eskom are talking about customers they supply directly. 

Now in Johannesburg we already have a segmented bill for people on the post paid tariff. They pay fixed costs for running the account and for the connection and then they pay for consumption. On prepaid you pay more for consumption but the flat charges fall away. 

Now I'm on prepaid AND I have a hybrid system. So City Power bear the cost of maintaining a connection to my house and I can give them heck if there is a problem. But they are not even breaking even on that connection.

 

It comes to the same thing, your argument in different words is that PV customers are subsidized by others and network charge will make it fair. My argument is that it is the  punishment to us.

They created the rule for me when I was power hungry. Now that I’m in a diet, they want to charge for the network. What difference does it make for them what method I used to reduce my consumption. I could have used gas, cook on fire, switch everything off or use PV. Result is the same to the utility... loss of income.

it would be like saying if I go to McDonalds and order chips only instead of a Big Mac meal, they are entitled to charge me the same. After all, they have to pay salaries and bills to provide that building where I can buy a lot or a little.

Like previously stated, we have been double taxed for being progressive and environmentally friendly. 

As for Eskom, “duck curve” problem is a false narrative. SSEG are not increasing the peak, they are making the duck’s belly fat. If there was no PV, peak would be higher. Most of us don’t need to normally use Eskom at peak hours. Solution for Eskom is the same solution that every solar household is forced to do - store the excess energy and use it when demand is high. Both solutions are forced by the same root cause - ineptitude in our utility.

 

 

 

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I see that 10Kva silent diesel generators are going for R65k vat inclusive. And the gas generators which are more silent, goes for the same price but for 8.8Kva. Need to start saving up asap, while they are still thinking of screwing us. I would rather get that and have a reliable power than try and make excuses or make sense of how or why I should be charged more for trying to save and provide power for myself. I'm on pre-paid meter and pay for what I use. I paid for my system, no tax rebate and definitely no help from Eskom. why must I help them maintain their grid? Those that, for some reason, feels eskom is rite for trying to get guys with PV system to pay more than what they are currently paying, by all means pay, no one will stop you. 

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30 minutes ago, hoohloc said:

I see that 10Kva silent diesel generators are going for R65k vat inclusive. And the gas generators which are more silent, goes for the same price but for 8.8Kva. Need to start saving up asap, while they are still thinking of screwing us. I would rather get that and have a reliable power than try and make excuses or make sense of how or why I should be charged more for trying to save and provide power for myself. I'm on pre-paid meter and pay for what I use. I paid for my system, no tax rebate and definitely no help from Eskom. why must I help them maintain their grid? Those that, for some reason, feels eskom is rite for trying to get guys with PV system to pay more than what they are currently paying, by all means pay, no one will stop you. 

Other option is increase storage capacity and or solar production capacity. 
 

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15 hours ago, Brani said:

Here is something you said 

Posted 9 hours ago

   12 hours ago,  Brani said: 

So Eskom say customers with PV are being subsidized by the customers with no PV.

That's so. Remember that Eskom are talking about customers they supply directly. 

Now in Johannesburg we already have a segmented bill for people on the post paid tariff. They pay fixed costs for running the account and for the connection and then they pay for consumption. On prepaid you pay more for consumption but the flat charges fall away. 

Now I'm on prepaid AND I have a hybrid system. So City Power bear the cost of maintaining a connection to my house and I can give them heck if there is a problem. But they are not even breaking even on that connection. 

Yes I said that. You're not the guy putting words into my mouth and attacking on the basis of me adhering to some imagined ideology. 

And I stand by that. It costs City Power money to maintain a connection to my house, but they don't get much payment for it. It would be ridiculous of me to assert that I'm subsidising somebody else. 

Quote

 

It comes to the same thing, your argument in different words is that PV customers are subsidized by others and network charge will make it fair. My argument is that it is the  punishment to us.

This may depend on where you live. In the area supplied by City Power, post paid customers have had that network charge for a decade or more. Now I didn't like it and I was happy to say goodbye to it when I switched to prepaid. But I understand why it's there. It costs the city the same to provide a 60a single phase connection to any house, irrespective of how much they consume. I acknowledge that, because it is so. 

If we have some other supply and are satisfied that we are self sufficient then the remedy is simple. 

If, like me, you think that well, maybe one day I'll need a bit from the grid then you need that connection and somebody has to cover the cost of keeping it in good working order. 

I'm happy to be in my present situation, BUT I can see the provider's POV as well. 

Quote

They created the rule for me when I was power hungry. Now that I’m in a diet, they want to charge for the network. What difference does it make for them what method I used to reduce my consumption. I could have used gas, cook on fire, switch everything off or use PV. Result is the same to the utility... loss of income.

Yes.  But OK. Forget it's Eskom (a word guaranteed to spoil the mood at any dinner party). Suppose it's BobVolt, a private company, supplying to Jhb. What do you think they will do if consumption drops but they bear the same burden of maintaining infrastructure? They will do the only thing they can do - increase prices. 

I do think the press have been mischievous here. They are inventing the notion that Eskom are punishing those of us with solar panels, ignoring the other factors that you mention. 

Eskom are merely trying to split the bill into a fixed component for having a connection and a charge per for usage and they are wanting to do that for all users. It may have the affect of increasing bills for solar users in some areas, but I don't see anything to suggest that that is their motive, that they are being vengeful. 

Quote

it would be like saying if I go to McDonalds and order chips only instead of a Big Mac meal, they are entitled to charge me the same. After all, they have to pay salaries and bills to provide that building where I can buy a lot or a little.

Like previously stated, we have been double taxed for being progressive and environmentally friendly.

 

Quote


As for Eskom, “duck curve” problem is a false NARRATIVE

Maybe. Eskom should be able to provide data to support that claim. This should be the least arguable part of their proposition. If they can show the duck curve then that argument is over and the debate moves to what should be done about it.

They will get asked about this, and if the data isn't there then they have a considerable amount of egg on their face. So I would expect that they have the data. They also appeal nearly every day for a reduction of use between 17:00 and 21:00. You may not be causing that, and I am pretty sure that I'm not because 5pm is about when my batteries start discharging. That doesn't mean it isn't happening. 

 

Quote

 

SSG are not increasing the peak, they are making the duck’s belly fat. If there was no PV, peak would be higher. Most of us don’t need to normally use Eskom at peak hours. Solution for Eskom is the same solution that every solar household is forced to do - store the excess energy and use it when demand is high.

Well see above, who said it's all? What you say is the case for hybrid systems, but solar doesn't have to be hybrid. 

I agree on that solution, but doing it requires lots of land and lots of outlay and a technology other than the batteries we have right now which will need replacing at regular intervals. 

Edited by Bobster
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This thread has become a storybook. Takes some time to follow through. 
 

What I don’t get is 2 things. 
First, what exactly is the maintenance that needs to be done to the infrastructure. I don’t see how’s it’s costing the municipality anything extra to maintain a connection to my house. Unless majority of the people in my area are switching over to solar and are all using very little from the grid, then I could see how it would cost them extra if for example the substation were to blow. However, this is not the case. In my complex alone with 40 units, I am the only one that has solar. In my area, there are very few people with solar. If this grows in the future, then they just need to plan better and actually do some work for a change. In any case, it’s not like someone is actually maintaining the grid by themselves where they are actually monitoring and manually telling someone to add more coal to the furnaces. It’s all freaking automated. 
 

Secondly, even if you have a grid tied system. It doesn’t really matter. The infrastructure is already there and designed for a certain capacity. During the day, shops / businesses, are all using a lot more power than at night. I don’t hear anyone complaining they have to ramp up production for this. In the evening, businesses close, using less power while household usage increases. It’s the same thing that would happen over weekends and holidays, household consumption would increase since people are doing things differently. If there’s suddenly a cold day, people pull out heaters. I haven’t heard people say this is a bad thing. I have heard eskom say the grid is constrained, but in most cases they manage. 
 

the unfortunate situation eskom finds itself in is probably not entirely the fault of the people currently working there. The people that messed it up have mostly left with full pockets but the people that are working there need to find a way to fix. They wanted the job, and now when they have it, they want to be crybabies. From last night, I had no power for 12 hours, my system worked fine and I was able to manage. Others in my complex, were complaining. If eskom feel that their cable is so difficult to maintain, they can keep it to themselves. I’m in a position to increase my storage capacity and add a generator as a backup.
 

However, if they really have some foresight, they will try to plan their operations around more and more people having solar pv and becoming self sufficient and they should actually try to get people to support their business by trying to feed in to the grid. I would mind feeding in my excess power to the grid even if I wasn’t being paid for. It’s being wasted now anyway but I don’t because it’s too much of a hassle to do. 
 

with regards to their block tariffs, all along they played the tunes that electricity is so scarce and usage needs to drop. It’s the only business I know that charges more, the more I use. Normally it would be the other way around. Again, they made decisions, and consumers adjusted their patterns, some installed gas stoves, others solar/gas geysers, some solar PV. 
 

They need to realize that whatever they do to try to increase their income, others will do the exact opposite to try to reduce what they pay. It’s generally the rich that are able to make a plan. I have to agree with @Bobster that it is the poor / middle class that will suffer. 
 

Point is Eskom need to catch a wake up and change their approach, else they got another thing coming. 

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My argument about the duck curve is that the peak is reduced by solar. If there was no solar, we would all be using suppliers power at peak. So, solar helps the supplier.

Another argument about maintenance cost is that the sub-stations that are designed for the certain capacity get overloaded due to peak demand and mostly due to illegal connections. Again, solar is the help in this situation.

Bottom line is, Eskom is so deep in trouble there is no rescuing. They will most likely get the money form new charges to solar, increased tariffs and will get money from the government. That means that you and I are paying 3 times for the same thing. Ethically this is so wrong, and like Vassen said, I will do anything in my power to reduce those payments.

 

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On 2021/01/31 at 2:08 PM, Vassen said:

This thread has become a storybook. Takes some time to follow through. 
 

What I don’t get is 2 things. 
First, what exactly is the maintenance that needs to be done to the infrastructure. I don’t see how’s it’s costing the municipality anything extra to maintain a connection to my house. Unless majority of the people in my area are switching over to solar and are all using very little from the grid, then I could see how it would cost them extra if for example the substation were to blow. However, this is not the case. In my complex alone with 40 units, I am the only one that has solar. In my area, there are very few people with solar. If this grows in the future, then they just need to plan better and actually do some work for a change. In any case, it’s not like someone is actually maintaining the grid by themselves where they are actually monitoring and manually telling someone to add more coal to the furnaces. It’s all freaking automated.

Nothing lasts forever. If I built a factory I'd need to make provision for servicing of equipment. Most months there won't be any spend, but every now and then I'll have to dip into what I've been setting aside.

Thinking of where I live, over the last couple of years they have replaced nearly all the overhead lines in the suburb. OK... that was mostly about theft. The new lines are aluminium which is less attractive to thieves. Also we've had a pole that got struck by a truck, another two that needed extra support because they were leaning at an ever increasing angle. Just down the road from me a person lost power to their property. City Power investigated and found the main feed to the property that had gone open circuit. They put in a temporary overhead feed whilst they wait for permission from JRA to excavate. All of this costs money.

And really, there are lots of things that don't happen to each of us every day but that happen which cost money.  They may not have had to do anything for your supply recently, that doesn't mean that supplying the city/country/area doesn't cost money.

NB! I'm in Johannesburg, fed by City Power. We've had a flat monthly fee for a connection for over a decade (when I started paying attention to the detail of my municipal bill, it may be 20 years or more). So maybe I don't see this as a big change because we already have it. Unless you're on the pre-paid tariff, in which case they charge youy more per kw/h to try to make up some of the lost charges on your bill. 

If this is a new thing for you where you live, here is the other thing to consider. The general opinion is that Eskom should be split into at least two entities - generation and transmission. This also creates a way to let IPPs into the game and even offer different tariffs (as is done in the UK). In which case how does the transmission side of Eskom make enough money to keep running?
 

Quote



Secondly, even if you have a grid tied system. It doesn’t really matter. The infrastructure is already there and designed for a certain capacity. During the day, shops / businesses, are all using a lot more power than at night. I don’t hear anyone complaining they have to ramp up production for this. In the evening, businesses close, using less power while household usage increases. It’s the same thing that would happen over weekends and holidays, household consumption would increase since people are doing things differently. If there’s suddenly a cold day, people pull out heaters. I haven’t heard people say this is a bad thing. I have heard eskom say the grid is constrained, but in most cases they manage. 

AIUI the problem is that each grid segment can handle a maximum load, yes, but there is a problem with excess electricity. It has to go somewhere, the grid, including the local substations, is not a storage facility, it conveys from generator to consumer. So, one explanation I've read, in any situation where there is too much power in the grid they have to reduce generation. Then they have to start increasing it later in the day. This may not even be easily predictable because solar generation varies with weather conditions. But even if it were, the explanation continues, having to ramp generation up and down is an extra management burden and the more the output of the generators varies, and thus how hard you drive the input side varies, the less efficiently they run and thus the more the average cost per kw/h.

I remember reading recently that the efficiency figures that some car manufacturers claim these days are not that great if we look at ALL internal combustion engines, because those that run at a constant speed for long periods of time (EG cruise ships) show much greater efficiency because they are not accelerating and decelerating all the time. 

So, me no engineer, but it seems to me that the famous duck curve, if indeed Eskom have such, can cause problems and costs. There are reports out of parts of Australia with high rates of installation of grid-tied systems that speak to these problems.

I wonder if shops do use a lot more during the day. Their fridges still run at night. If they're restocking the shelves at night then they have to keep some lighting going.

And this is where data comes into play. Eskom either have some kind of theoretical model that shows what will happen if X% of your consumption is replaced by grid-tied systems, or they have actual data showing that that demand curve is there. They have been saying for some time now that peak consumption time is 5pm to 9pm, this is not new. If they do actually have the data then the discussion moves to what to do about it.

We here should also know better than to settle for a vague term like "solar", and I hope the people who are going to examine Eskom's proposals know better or consult with experts. I have a hybrid system. If my neighbour has a grid-tied system then we both have "solar", but we have very different systems that will have different implications for Eskom.

 

Edited by Bobster
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2 hours ago, Bobster said:

Nothing lasts forever. If I built a factory I'd need to make provision for servicing of equipment. Most months there won't be any spend, but every now and then I'll have to dip into what I've been setting aside.

Thinking of where I live, over the last couple of years they have replaced nearly all the overhead lines in the suburb. OK... that was mostly about theft. The new lines are aluminium which is less attractive to thieves. Also we've had a pole that got struck by a truck, another two that needed extra support because they were leaning at an ever increasing angle. Just down the road from me a person lost power to their property. City Power investigated and found the main feed to the property that had gone open circuit. They put in a temporary overhead feed whilst they wait for permission from JRA to excavate. All of this costs money

I agree to this partly. It does cost money but some of this should come out of insurance. For example cable theft or someone knocking down a pole. Some things are maintenance and should be planned for accordingly. 

 

2 hours ago, Bobster said:

but there is a problem with excess electricity.

How is this any different from a sudden cold weather where people suddenly use heater or after a few hot days and the weather is decent and people stop using aircons or after a few cold days when the weather is pleasant and people don’t need heaters. They would still need to worry about demand management. 
 

The place in Australia you refer to is a very different scenario as most people have grid tie and have been incentivized to do so. There the problem is even worse as they need to worry about sudden cloud cover that will drastically affect the required load. South Africa is very very far from that. It’s a small minority of people that have solar and those that do solar have them together with batteries to be able to deal with load shedding which by the way is rumored to have been created initially because of corruption and not because there was actually a problem. 

2 hours ago, Bobster said:

wonder if shops do use a lot more during the day. Their fridges still run at night

Yes, fridges do run but they are not opened and closed as often so will not use as much power. Further, aircons don’t need to run permanently at night as not much heat is being lost, some lights are on but for a shorter time. 
 

I’m in jhb and am fed directly from eskom. My bill is already split into a daily network capacity charge which I get charged R4.38 per day. Even if eskom don’t provide a electricity for the day, I am still charged this capacity fee. 
 

pikitup is the same. Every year workers go on strike for weeks and are not paid. Yet, pikitup charges residents a monthly fee and have no expenses to pay. It’s actually profitable to pikitup if their workers strike, they get their standard income and their expenses are much lower. 

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16 hours ago, Vassen said:
 

I agree to this partly. It does cost money but some of this should come out of insurance. For example cable theft or someone knocking down a pole. Some things are maintenance and should be planned for accordingly. 

 

How is this any different from a sudden cold weather where people suddenly use heater or after a few hot days and the weather is decent and people stop using aircons or after a few cold days when the weather is pleasant and people don’t need heaters. They would still need to worry about demand management. 
 

The place in Australia you refer to is a very different scenario as most people have grid tie and have been incentivized to do so.

There the problem is even worse as they need to worry about sudden cloud cover that will drastically affect the required load.

It's a grid. It's for transmitting, not storing. It is a different country with a different subsidy scheme, but there are similarities as well. I've been making the point all along about grid-tied systems and it's been discussed on this forum before. It is a problem in Australia, because they have so many small systems feeding back in to the grid. I see no reason why the same can't happen here, especially in CT where they are at the very least offering a reasonable deal on sell-back.

 

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South Africa is very very far from that. It’s a small minority of people that have solar and those that do solar have them together with batteries to be able to deal with load shedding which by the way is rumored to have been created initially because of corruption and not because there was actually a problem. 

Well we all hear rumours. Rumours are things that get around but are untested. The most reasonable conclusion really is that Eskom shed load BECAUSE they can't meet supply. I'm not asking anybody to be anything less than angry about that, but that's what it is - they have big problems and sometimes can't meet demand. 

We all hear stuff and in this day and age we can check quite a lot of it. Like the last time Pikitup went on strike and how long it lasted.
 

As to whether is or isn't a duck curve, what this whole aspect of what Eskom are saying will come down to is that they have data that shows this is a problem, that we're heading for this problem (because they have reliable data about the rate at which grid-tie systems are being installed) or they are sucking it out of their thumbs. This will come out in the wash.

Remember that they don't just get to set tariffs. They have go to the regulator and justify the tariff increases they ask for (and the last couple of years Eskom have not been happy with the gap between what they've asked for and what they actually got, so NERSA are not there to rubber stamp whatever Eskom say). What has happened here is that Eskom want to motivate some fundamental changes to NERSA (or they had a management indaba and somebody's power point presentation got leaked).


 

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Yes, fridges do run but they are not opened and closed as often so will not use as much power. Further, aircons don’t need to run permanently at night as not much heat is being lost, some lights are on but for a shorter time. 
 

I’m in jhb and am fed directly from eskom. My bill is already split into a daily network capacity charge which I get charged R4.38 per day. Even if eskom don’t provide a electricity for the day, I am still charged this capacity fee. 

pikitup is the same. Every year workers go on strike for weeks and are not paid. Yet, pikitup charges residents a monthly fee and have no expenses to pay. It’s actually profitable to pikitup if their workers strike, they get their standard income and their expenses are much lower. 

As I said, COJ have had a split bill for years - for customers on the post-paid tariff - so this seemed like a big yawn to me. Now you're saying that Eskom already do it. So what's the fuss about? My guess is that a lot of folks don't read their municipal bill past the bottom line. They pay that unless it starts looking unreasonable in which case they pay some arbitrary amount and raise an objection with Eskom/Municipality so the matter gets investigated. I've had to explain to several people in my neck of the woods how what Eskom call IBT's work, that there are fixed charges and variable charges etc. They either don't read the bill or see stuff that had never occured to them (one person I can think of started looking at bills and called me up to ask what this "rates" thing was). So now (my guess) folks get all alarmed because they read about a multi-component electricity bill when they've had it for years but never noticed.

If you're paying 4.38 a day that's 120ish a month (OK... add VAT and round properly and  it might get up to 140ish). That's significantly less than City Power customers pay.

Can you not convert to pre-paid? City Power customers can with some conditions (your entire municipal bill must be paid up to date. You must actually own the property, not just live there Etc). It costs money to convert (they will always quote you and leave the final decision to you) and you pay more per kw/h because there are no flat fees. But if you're not using many kw/h it's a better deal (though City Power are working hard to close the gap which annoys me because customers who pay in advance are good for your business). It cost me R400 odd to convert, and the month after conversion I got a big bill because they were billing me for everything on my meter up to time of conversion, but it took about 4 months to move into a position where I had a nett saving. 

Edited by Bobster
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I don't understand why the 'duck curve' is such a challenge. If they could incentivise industry to use that excess which is wheeled through the grid, they could be selling electricity they didn't even generate. Most businesses operate during the day. The sun shines during the day. Where's the problem?

 

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i find this discussion VERY interesting, although some guys seem to get to hot under the collar, i think we are all in the same boat as per Bobster, and ultimately have the same frustrations... just a few things to consider....

 

the problem is exactly in that.... most guys do not use electricity only during the day.... almost ALL the heavy users with very little exception use electricity around the clock, and not just during the day.... we have a factory of about 500 people and have a day and night shift... and most times our autoclaves run during night shift, meaning we have peak during night time.... think of example the mining industry, most mines run operations 24 hours around the clock in shifts, if not that, the very least the processing plants and most services are still running 24/7 even if the operation is not at 100% production.... cooling and ventilation on a mine works on a completely different method than household ac... they have fire suppression and lifeline systems that never should go offline as is the same with ventilation and cooling, same with critical services that need to be supplied to aux or refuge bays underground.... think of industries like refineries like the likes of sasol etc, also around the clock operations.... any type of high temp furnaces, the guys in the galvanizing industry etc, the gold processing plant at DRD.... my wife is a electrical engineer at eskom/siemens, and i have but a very limited insight into their dealings and challenges, problem is mainly the corruption, which is core to all issues were the state has their dirty paws in the broth.... the poor guys on the ground just takes the grunt for it.... if you take the top 15 industrial customers of eskom you probably have a ridiculous figure like 70% of their consumption (can't remember the exact figures but is something crazy like that), so saying that guys using less on their fridges and lights during nights helps and that the duck curve is not an issue is not really applicable, yes eskom asks for guys to switch of swimming pool pumps and geysers etc etc during load, but that is because they are already so close to the cliff, and every bit helps because they are already so deep down the rabbit's hole.... and most days no longer have any spare capacity to ramp up.....

 

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5 minutes ago, Saint said:

i find this discussion VERY interesting, although some guys seem to get to hot under the collar, i think we are all in the same boat as per Bobster, and ultimately have the same frustrations... just a few things to consider....

 

the problem is exactly in that.... most guys do not use electricity only during the day.... almost ALL the heavy users with very little exception use electricity around the clock, and not just during the day.... we have a factory of about 500 people and have a day and night shift... and most times our autoclaves run during night shift, meaning we have peak during night time.... think of example the mining industry, most mines run operations 24 hours around the clock in shifts, if not that, the very least the processing plants and most services are still running 24/7 even if the operation is not at 100% production.... cooling and ventilation on a mine works on a completely different method than household ac... they have fire suppression and lifeline systems that never should go offline as is the same with ventilation and cooling, same with critical services that need to be supplied to aux or refuge bays underground.... think of industries like refineries like the likes of sasol etc, also around the clock operations.... any type of high temp furnaces, the guys in the galvanizing industry etc, the gold processing plant at DRD.... my wife is a electrical engineer at eskom/siemens, and i have but a very limited insight into their dealings and challenges, problem is mainly the corruption, which is core to all issues were the state has their dirty paws in the broth.... the poor guys on the ground just takes the grunt for it.... if you take the top 15 industrial customers of eskom you probably have a ridiculous figure like 70% of their consumption (can't remember the exact figures but is something crazy like that), so saying that guys using less on their fridges and lights during nights helps and that the duck curve is not an issue is not really applicable, yes eskom asks for guys to switch of swimming pool pumps and geysers etc etc during load, but that is because they are already so close to the cliff, and every bit helps because they are already so deep down the rabbit's hole.... and most days no longer have any spare capacity to ramp up.....

 

Okay. I agree with most of this about the large users. However, what this actually implies is that these heavy users can actually be removed from the equation. If their consumption is fairly constant, then this is a fixed demand rather than a variable factor or at worst they can fairly accurately predict the consumption. 
 

The variables still come down small businesses, shopping malls, and residential users. If Eskom is close the the edge with regards to capacity, then every bit of solar generation is helping them because if it were not for the solar production these residential users would actually be putting more of a strain on the grid. For me, my 3 geysers are heated during the day with my solar power. And if the weather is bad, they are not heated as high. I very very rarely need to use grid power for this. Most others with solar, be it grid tie or otherwise, are doing the same, where heavy loads are used during solar production hours. 
 

So I still fail to see the problem. 
 

I have also read somewhere that households with solar installation are not allowed to be on prepaid. Possibly to eradicate this issue as well as the problem with people accumulating lots of credits on summer and using it in winter.  So a classic example of existing rules not being enforced but the powers that be wanting to change the rules so that more people need to suffer. 

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I remember the Richardts Bay aluminium smelter saga from a few years ago where the consumers were subsidising them due to a very generous contract Eskom had with them. 
I don’t know what the outcome of that was but my logic tells me that scenarios like that one continues to this day.

We often see reports that government departments have not been settling their accounts.

Combine that with fraud and I have no sympathy for them. We know their (extremely well renumerated) labour is far more than required. They also tried to get rid of their housing subsidy book some years ago. Rumour had it their workers got 100% loans at 0% rate. Think of how they must have panicked to start paying market related rates.

So much of their misfortune is home made.

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On 2021/02/01 at 2:56 PM, Bobster said:

but it seems to me that the famous duck curve, if indeed Eskom have such, can cause problems and costs

this is the average SA hourly electricity consumption. If anything PV would actually help flatten the curve 🤣

image.png.c672ef0af8198596dfac411f38d2879f.png

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3 minutes ago, Fuenkli said:

this is the average SA hourly electricity consumption. If anything PV would actually help flatten the curve 🤣

No. Most large PV installations have no battery storage, so they feed all the available PV power into the grid. Which means they cause a big dip in the demand from the utility centered around midday. They do little to nothing during the morning and evening peaks. This is what the utilities don't like. They have pretty much the same peak loads as before, but the base load becomes very small. This causes problems as they have to ramp generation up and down much more quickly and by a greater margin. In fact this is one time that I actually agree with eskom. If you have a PV system and are using the grid as storage, i.e. Feeding back excess power during the day and then buying it back at night so that your average for the month is basically 0, you have still used the grid and there are costs involved for the utility to provide you with that connection, so I agree that there should be a base connection fee to cover the fixed costs. The price per kWh can then come down.

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13 minutes ago, Stanley said:

They do little to nothing during the morning and evening peaks

That is true. I also agree, that a reasonable charge to use the grid is justified. I do however not buy the argument, that PV will overload the grid during the day (at least not for the foreseeable future). We desperately need more clean electricity to push out the very dirty coal power. And to cover the morning and evening peaks more wind power must be installed.

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1 minute ago, Fuenkli said:

a reasonable charge to use the grid is justified

Disagree totally. If they can charge me I must be able to penalise them for loadshedding and power failures.

I get supplied by the munisipality who owes them R3b btw.

When last could they meet their demand 100%

They keep their lips flapping - thats all.

No discussions of any kind will save their (and the ainncee) asses.

 

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22 minutes ago, Johandup said:

No discussions of any kind will save their (and the ainncee) asses

I agree. Eskom in its present form will die soon. But a well functioning country needs an electricity grid. The grid will work best if as many people as possible are connected to it and share the building and maintenance cost. Looking at what is happening around the world gives us an idea what we have to do here in the future. Power generation and distribution has to be privatized. We have to be able to sell our PV surplus at a profit. Coal, gas and nuclear has to disappear (to dirty and expensive). Massive PV and Wind capacity has to be installed. Electricity distribution (across SA and Africa) has to be expanded.

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19 hours ago, Fuenkli said:

this is the average SA hourly electricity consumption. If anything PV would actually help flatten the curve 🤣

image.png.c672ef0af8198596dfac411f38d2879f.png

Well, what is "PV"? A system like mine that stores power in batteries for use at night will help flatten the evening curve, that's for sure. I don't sell back because it's simply not worth my while. But if enough people do?

If that graph is recent that is with existing solar systems already in place. So not much flattening yet - especially in the evenings.

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19 hours ago, Fuenkli said:

That is true. I also agree, that a reasonable charge to use the grid is justified. I do however not buy the argument, that PV will overload the grid during the day (at least not for the foreseeable future). We desperately need more clean electricity to push out the very dirty coal power. And to cover the morning and evening peaks more wind power must be installed.

YEs, but that that should be big farms that are on the supply side of the grid and which whoever is controlling the grid can manage. Off shore wind farms for example. Solar farms in the Karoo.

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