About the Nelson Mandela Bay Project

Escotek was originally established in 2003 to service the Municipal energy markets. At this time Escotek was appointed as the ESCO (Energy Services Company) responsible for the Demand Side management of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) amongst other Municipalities.

The metro issued Escotek with a Letter of Intent (LoI) to allow Escotek to apply for funding from Eskom DSM with the provisory that it should be “at no cost to Council”. Escotek performed a feasibility study to determine the number and average size of the hot water cylinders in the metro and also the savings that the system will generate to the Metro. Eskom DSM accepted the Loi and feasibility study and commenced with the procurement process.

The first phase contract was signed on 17 May 2007 and included 21 750 receivers. Eskom DSM also procured the injection equipment installed at Chatty and Dispach sub stations. The first phase was completed after 8 months. The second phase contract was signed between Escotek and Eskom DSM on 18 Feb 2008 consisting of 67250 receivers to be installed within an 18 month period. During this time did Escotek design its own receiver and thus 58 000 receivers that was installed are local manufactured. The system was completed at the end of 2009.

During 2007 Escotek signed a 10 year Service Level agreement with NMBM back to back with the 10 Year DSM agreement between Eskom and NMBM. It is Escotek’s responsibility to make sure that the load is shifted within agreed parameters and also to operate a Cal centre from which complaints are serviced. At the end of 2014 the Ripple system operated by Escotek saved the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality more than R100 Million on their Eskom Electricity Bills.

During 2011 Eskom suggested to NMBM that an additional 12 000 receivers be installed. Escotek forwarded the proposal to Eskom but due to financial constrains Eskom did not deliver. In light of the current National Energy Cricis, NMBM then decided to take the initiative themselves to add the 12 000 receivers but also at the same time targeted Escotek to do a “walk through” the existing 89000 receivers to repair and revamp the existing receivers.

Escotek commenced with the sourcing, employment and training of the installers during December 2014 and started with the walk through during May 2015. By the end September 2015 13000 homes were visited in the NMBM area.

Operation Description

The hours between 07:00-10:00 and 18:00-20:00 are considered peak usage times. The system will automatically switch off the power supply to residential geysers for short periods during these peak times. The system is controlled by a signal sent from the Municipality’s Central Control Unit.

Geysers generally consume more electricity than any other item in a household. Together, we need to ensure that the implementation programme is executed efficiently. By managing the load effectively, through LMS, the likelihood of total blackouts may be reduced, while technical failures in our national distribution system may be prevented. The cost of distribution will also be reduced in the process.

Hot water supply will not be affected, provided that the geyser is in good working order and has not been fitted with a timer device by the resident.

Residents are cordially requested to grant the Escotek team access to their homes, to inspect existing and/or replace the geyser relay units. Accredited installers are provided with Identity cards issued by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Residents will receive a circular and a “Confirmation of appointment” card approximately one week prior to the date of actual inspection/installation

The installation/inspection takes approximately 30 minutes and will be at no cost to the consumer, as all costs will be borne by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

Solar geysers will not require installation, unless they are connected to the electricity supply. Once the load receiver switch has been installed, residents will not be required to manually switch their geysers off.