- Why could the website be slow?
We have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback and interest in this free service and are currently processing over 2,000 new sign-ups per working hour. If the website is slow, please be patient or give it 5 minutes and try again.
- What is the delay between change of status and receipt of email?
The sheer volume of emails needing to be sent means it currently takes over 30 min to send all the emails when ESKOM changes national load shedding status. So some of you will get their alert 30 minutes before others. We are currently upgrading our email servers to manage the immense load.
- Are the 15-minute warnings/notifications also delayed?
Thankfully at present, the 15-minute warnings are not affected as much and you should be receiving these at worst 10 minutes before you are due to be load-shed.
- Why are load shedding times not matching with the emails I receive?
Our schedules have been audited and we have received a 100% report match. We kindly suggest that the following may be happening:
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.
- Please ensure that you have entered in the correct zone (we have found that majority of our users reporting inaccuracies entered in the wrong zone.)
- The above often happens because your sub-station may be located in an adjacent zone. Please check.
- We have also found cases where the local municipality is not following the schedule and/or had no need to as the demand on the grid allowed for it.
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 returns 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.
- How do I determine what zone I am in if I have the problem of load shedding times not matching up with emails?
- 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 so require.
- 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 the below links.
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 years at least and is likely to worsen.
City of Cape Town
City Power (Gauteng)
- Why can't I find my suburb in the lists you provide for my Municipality?
If you can't find your suburb in the lists we provide for your municipality, it means you may be getting your electricity directly from ESKOM and unfortunately we can't help you with alerts. This is because we have yet to find a way to get load shedding schedules in electronic format from ESKOM.
- Can Sharenet or PowerStocks help with pinpointing my zone?
Unfortunately we are not able to do this. We will have to do just as much work as you trying to figure this out, and do not employ the resources to provide that level of support as this is a free service and we would very much like to keep it that way for our users. Do see the answers to question 4 and 5 above for tips on this subject.
- We'd like to thank you...
We have received so many kind words and positive feedback, but would like for clients to restrain from sending thank you responses to the email alerts via email. The feedback has been of such volume that it has created bottlenecks in our system. We do want to hear from you though, so please direct your feedback to our facebook and twitter pages.
- How do I unsubscribe?
If you wish to unsubscribe, please go to your control panel link at the bottom of your email alerts, select the municipality/s you set alerts for, untick all the suburbs for that municipality you are receiving alerts for and go to STEP-2 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.
- Why didn't I get load-shed when Stage 3 alerts were sent out?
ESKOM may issue a Stage 3 alert and some municipalities may elect to NOT load-shed certain areas as per the Stage 3 schedule. Unfortunately we are not able to cater for this and as such, we stills end out the Stage 3 alert. Best prepare for the worst, than be caught off-guard.
- Incorrect schedules, what can be done?
Unfortunately, we are not responsible for municipality schedules and the accuracy thereof. If they fail to load-shed according to the schedule published, there is not much we or anyone can do. Please bear this in mind before complaining.
- Can I get an SMS alert?
We currently don't support SMS anymore due to the cost (R0.12 each times 250,000 subscribers) would bankrupt us. We are exploring alternative push-alert options and also negotiating with the cellular providers so that is why we ask your cellphone number for future. You can always change your email address to the one you use on your phone to get the alerts on your phone, or even create a brand new account with a separate free email (like gmail) used by your phone. We have also just launched an Android App with push alerts and alerts from these apps will be just as good, if not better than SMS alerts.
- Can I subscribe to multiple municipalities?
Yes, you can. Simply subscribe to multiple municipalities by clicking on the municipality logos on the main page and following the easy steps thereafter.
- Can you add my municipality to your list?
We will be adding more municipalities over time, starting with all the ESKOM direct customers in Cape Town and then Ekurhuleni municipality. Please be patient as this is a non-core function of our business and we use the little spare time we have to work on this free service when we can.
- Do you have a dedicated twitter account for this service?
Yes, you can follow enhancements, new features to the service and occasional load shedding commentary from us by following us on Twitter, where we have established a new handle specifically dedicated to this free service.
- Do you have a mobile App?
Yes, we currently have an Android App but the download link to this will only be provided once you have successfully completed creating an account and setting your areas and zones and alerting preferences. The IOS app will be available in the near future. The push alerts from these apps will be just as good, if not better than SMS alerts.
- Please, we ask you to treat this service as a social project in a pilot phase. It is new and we are all trying our best to roll out a useful, relevant service for free. 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.
- Please bear in mind that we don't supply 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 offering this service. It was developed in-house for our own purposes and we felt there may be a need for this and so offered to share our intellectual property gratis. It has exploded and the interest was well-beyond what we had anticipated. Considering the above, we ask that users please refrain from abusing our support staff with complaints, profanity and insults. This is a voluntary non-profit project. We are constantly striving to improve it as we go along on a limited staff and budget, and in our spare time.
- About the teams involved in the free load shedding service:
, established 2009, provides buy and sell signals, investment and trading models, share tips, stock market research as well as bear market and recession warnings to JSE private investors.
provides economic modelling, recession models and market timing models to US financial advisors, stock brokerage firms, hedge funds and private investors.
started 27 years ago and has been at the forefront of technological developments in the trading and financial data services sector. Sharenet has grown into one of the most active financial information portals in South Africa. We provide financial information and news, JSE share prices and charts, stock market education and software plus trading platforms to allow clients to trade shares and CFDs.
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