How To Decipher Eskom Color-Coded Power Alert Updates on TV

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South Africa’s power grid has been on overdrive for the past few months and Eskom has been taking all the heat. While the power generation company has been making strides to improve the situation, the country’s power grid is still in the red.

With constant power disruptions and overloads leading to load-shedding, Eskom has now turned to the public for help in keeping electricity demand low during peak hours. “Eskom has re-introduced the real-time televised Power Alert updates to the public on the status of the electricity supply situation, starting with a partnership with SABC 1, 2 and 3,” said the company’s statement.

Eskom has brought back an old system where the company would partner with national TV broadcasters and show the public live status updates of the power grid. “The aim of the Power Alert service is to provide feedback to the public on the real-time status of the grid, and to empower the public to help manage the demand and supply situation during periods of constraint,” added Eskom.

How It Works

Eskom has partnered with SABC 1, 2 and 3 to broadcast these live power grid status updates during peak hours. The aim of these broadcasts is to encourage a call to action from the public in order to reduce the load on the grid.

“By immediately responding to the televised Power Alerts residential consumers can make a significant difference to the electricity supply and demand situation. If all households switch off their geysers, the demand reduction will be about 2,475MW which equates to the daily usage of a city of the size of Tshwane,” Eskom said.

The live updates will be broadcasted on weekdays between 5 PM and 9 PM. There are four power alert updates, ranging from Green to Black, each with its own call to action as seen below:

Green Stable

Green stable

Nothing to worry about as the power grid is stable

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Green Increasing

Green increasing

There’s a slight increase in demand and residents are requested to switch off unnecessary lights


Orange indicator

There is a strain on the grid and residents are requested to switch off any unnecessary lights, the geyser, and pool pumps for the evening peak period or until notified of a green status.


Red indicator

There’s is an increased strain that could lead to load-shedding. Residents are requested to switch off any unnecessary lights, the geyser, pool pumps, non-essential home appliances such as washing machines, ACs and dishwashers for the evening peak period or until notified of a green status.


Black indicator

Load-shedding has been implemented due to continuous strain on the national grid. Residents should switch off all electronics that are not essential to have.

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