Eskom hosted yesterday's SAIEE Crisis Coping Forum at its Midrand Conference Centre where it urged companies to conserve electricity – while itself demonstrating wastage on a huge scale in the auditorium where the conference was held.
Having trotted out the usual advice to companies to turn off unnecessary lights, disconnet washroom geysers and educate staff on how to become more energy efficient, it became apparent that Eskom itself doesn't practice what it preaches.
One of the engineers attending the conference pointed out to IT-Online that the auditorium was lit with no less than 350 high-powered incandescent light bulbs – not the energy-efficient light bulbs that the South African public is being urged to buy at a huge premium to the cheap incandescent variety (and which they have done so, to the extent that many suburban stores have run out of stock).
These 350 incandescent lights, each drawing 100 watts of power, therefore account for an electricity demand of 35kW, the anonymous engineer says.
Apart from light, they also produce heat, which he estimates at 33kW, requiring an additional 33kW of electricity to run the air conditioning required to neutralise the heat from the lights.
Simply by lighting the auditorium with these bulbs, therefore, the Eskom Conference Centre was yesterday drawing 68kW of electricity – the equivalent of 34 domestic geysers.