Loadshedding Stages Explained

And how to overcome them

Loadshedding Stages Explained: During times of high demand or system limits, the utility provider would apply loadshedding, a programmed power outage, to manage the supply and demand of energy. But what do the different stages of loadshedding actually mean, which are the solutions that will work best in each stage and will we REALLY reach stage 16?

Our InPower specialists can help answer all of these questions and more.

Loadshedding Stages Defined

According to the popular loadshedding tracking app, EskomSePush, South Africa has experienced more than 133 days of national loadshedding. For three consecutive months, we have been toggling between stages 3, 4, 5, and 6, and experiencing 4 hour blocks with no power. And now, after numerous months of speculation, the possibility of stage 16 loadshedding is closer than ever.  Despite announcements by the national energy provider, claiming we are experiencing stage 5 and 6, in reality, we are currently experiencing stage 8 loadshedding. But what do the different stages really mean?

During each stage of loadshedding, 1000MW of electricity consumption is shed, i.e,

  • Stage 1 = 1000MW
  • Stage 2 = 2000MW
  • Stage 3 = 3000 MW, etc

Loadshedding Stage 1-3

In these stages, power outages are typically two hours long and occur three times a day. A viable solution is our 1kW Backup Power System for small households with low energy requirements or our 3kW Backup Power System for larger homes with a higher monthly energy consumption.

Loadshedding Stage 4 -5

In these stages, power outages are typically 12 times over a four day period for two hours at a time or 12 times over an eight day period for four hours at a time. Our 3kW Backup Power System for smaller households with low energy requirements or our 5kW Backup Power System for larger homes with a higher monthly energy consumption, is ideal.

Loadshedding Stage 6+

At stage 6, upwards of 6000MW is shed several times a day; this means power cuts occur over a four-day period for four hours at a time.  Our 5kW Backup Power System for relatively small houses with minimal energy needs or our 8kW Backup Power System for larger homes with greater monthly energy usage would be a practical answer to this.

This large amount of electricity being shed is a strong indication that the national grid is severely strained and at a potential breaking point. Our InPower Specialists highly recommend introducing a hybrid solar installation system to help power your battery backup as the grid supply is no longer stable enough to charge your batteries during the times when power is available.
Most lithium-ion batteries have a charge cycle of 3 hours, so the addition of solar panels will help your property become power sufficient.

Our team recommends the 5kW hybrid system for most households.

Loadshedding Stage 8

Even though we are unambiguously experiencing a breakdown of the national grid in real time, stage 8 has not yet been officially announced; potentially in an effort to avoid alarming the public about the magnitude of the electricity supply issue and causing further annoyance. Currently, we are without power for between 9 - 11 hours a day, and although our apps tell us we are moving between several stages in a day, we are actually operating on Stage 8!

Our 8kW Backup Power System is a suitable choice for relatively small households with low energy requirements, or our 12kW Backup Power System for bigger homes with higher monthly energy consumption.

We highly recommend investigating our 10kW hybrid solution for this stage of continually loadshedding.

Will we REALLY reach stage 16?!

The potential for reaching stage 16 loadshedding is higher than ever. With the winter months in full swing, the strain on the electrical grid will increase exponentially. The delay by the South African government in implementing large scale renewable energy sources is detrimental to sustaining a stable electricity supply. The recent financial investment by several first world countries of the European Commission to assist South Africa in their 20 year energy transition plan, emphasises a statement made by the Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Commission, "In South Africa it is already cheaper to build new renewable energy and storage than maintain some of the existing Eskom power stations,"

All this, however, does not decrease the possibility of reaching stage 16 of loadshedding within the next 2 to 3 months. Businesses are calling for drastic supportive measures to prevent the collapse of an already struggling economy.