LOAD SHEDDING NOTIFICATIONS

Sharenet is a free project  that uses precious developer time and computing resources for, and so we only cater for the major municipalities shown below. Although you may form part of a city in one of these 4 metropoles, you may receive your electricity directly from ESKOM as opposed to from the municipality concerned, in which case we cannot provide alerts for you. For a detailed background and how this service works, read this NEWS24.COM article.
Here is the link: www.sharenet.co.za/loadshedding/  

NOTETo ensure you don't get caught by surprise however, activate your 15 min warning emails from your control panel links as this requires far less emails to be sent out from our servers and at the very least you will have 10-15min warning if you are the first to be load shed.

Below is a copy of a notification received by myself, as I subscribe to Sharenet and find it 99% accurate and on time, but, I have followed the steps required, which took a total of 10 minutes and now I am always prepared. You can also set more than one area for notification.

___ oOo ___ ___ oOo ___ ___ oOo ___ ___ oOo ___ ___ oOo ___ ___ oOo ___

The load-shedding subscriber list is now very large and growing by 10,000 per day. We are no longer able to attend individually to your email queries. We don't have enough staff. Please read our Frequently Asked Questions page and the pointers below before emailing us directly. Don't expect replies any time soon as we are swamped. We have had a massive, unexpected response to the free load shedding service that has overwhelmed our email servers with all the email notifications required. You may notice the main alert notifying you of early warning of the start of national load shedding by ESKOM sometimes arrives too late in your email if you are unlucky to be the first to be load-shed on the schedule of your municipality. We have upgraded our email servers to resolve this issue and these upgrades are an ongoing process.

The Stage-2 warning sent out yesterday was done with an upgraded system that managed to get all emails out within 1 hour as opposed to the old system that took 3 hours. We expect to get this down to 30min with the addition of more email servers meaning that if ESKOM provide 1 hour advance warning of load-shedding, your emails should get to you at most 30 min before load shedding actually starts. To ensure you don't get caught by surprise however, activate your 15 min warning emails from your control panel links as this requires far less emails to be sent out from our servers and at the very least you will have 10-15min warning if you are the first to be load shed. IMPORTANT: Apart from the emails arriving late (which we are now dealing with), the biggest problem we have is people saying the actual load shedding is not matching the times we email them.

Our schedules have been audited and 100% match those of your municipality so if this happens then either you are in the incorrect zone, your sub-station is in an adjacent zone, or the municipality is not following the schedule. The council schedules are a guideline to determine which Block/Zone a customers' suburb is in and should be accurate under normal operating conditions. However, each customer can be fed from multiple substations, some of which could be in different Blocks/zones. Under fault or high load conditions, customers can be fed from alternative neighbouring substations, some of which may be in other Blocks/Zones.

Distribution substations are supplied from major substations by multiple circuits and it is possible that the source of supply could be changed for reasons outside of load shedding. While this does not happen often (and usually returned to the normal state after a period), it is possible that this would result in the customer being associated with a different block from time to time. The easiest way to determine your zone/block is to make a diligent note of the EXACT times you are being load-shed and then consulting the relevant municipality load shedding schedule to see what BLOCK/ZONES are being load shed at the same time as you.

This way you can determine what area you are. A single such comparison under Stage-1 load shedding will pinpoint your area, and you will require two such comparisons under stage 2 load shedding to do the required elimination to pinpoint which sub-station you are being delivered power from. You can go to your control panel link provided at the bottom of your emails to subscribe to multiple suburbs/zones if you wish, to assist you with this process. You can also phone your municipality load-shedding hotline with your address to determine your exact zone/block. The load shedding schedules and phone numbers for your respective municipality are in these links: City of Cape Town, City Power (Gauteng), Ethekwini (Durban), Tshwane (Pretoria). This may sound like a lot of effort, but it is a once-off and load shedding will be with us for the next few months at least AND IS LIKELY TO WORSEN and so you have to decide how important this is to you when considering investing the time and effort to discover the zones that work best for you, versus the benefit you will derive over the next 2 years.

Clearly, email will not scale into the millions so we are looking at some options for SMS (very expensive at R20c per SMS) or push-alerts to smartphones with a dedicated Notifier App for Android, IOS, Windows and Nokia. Please be patient. Until then we only cater for email. We ask you to treat this service as a social project in a pilot phase. Its new. We are all new to this. We have to deal with the complications of ESKOM and Municipalities changing the rules now and again as well as the issues associated with massively large subscriptions (running into millions) and their impact on our servers and bandwidth and human resources. We don't supply the electricity, we don't make the load shedding schedules, we don't know why certain areas go off and others don't, we don't know why municipalities are not following their schedules, we don't know why your lights are off when they are supposed to be on, we don't know why your lights are off and your neighbours lights are on, and we are in no way associated with the government, ESKOM or the municipalities.

We are a group of private financial services companies who don't make any money for this. So don't abuse our support staff with complaints, swearing and insults. This is a voluntary non-profit project. We are constantly striving to improve as we go along on a limited staff and budget, and in our spare time. Finally, If you wish to unsubscribe, go to your control panel link, select the municipality/s you set alerts for, untick all the suburbs for each municipality you are receiving alerts for and go to STEP2 to save your configuration. Your account will then be "Suspended" from all alerts and you can always re-activate them or sign up again at a later stage.