The elephant in the room

Our local chat groups do not dwell on load shedding or problems associated with this.
They talk endlessly about the refuse, water supply, fires, dogs & cats but not about the power outages that are now with us more than once a day.
At first I thought everyone is sorted with a comprehensive backup system but not any more…

What must people say?

Those that could sort LS, did that in the last “round”.
Those that cannot, cannot.
Those that can work with it, is doing that.

Not much else to say/do.

Wait for IF SA hits Level 6 or higher again later in the year … “Winter is coming”.

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Sooner than later is my 2c bet!

My local group has had some, but that’s because City Power seem to move us around between load shedding blocks with no heads up, nor any clarification if you ask them directly.

Other than it’s mostly noisy motor bikes and barking dogs.

I take this as folks talking about things they hope they retain some control over, and maybe resignation. The latter bothers me: We can get used to load shedding, regard it as just the way things are, but taking that attitude doesn’t undo the damage being done.

I have noticed people adapting their behaviour. My mother, for example, doesn’t fill her fridge any more and hardly uses the deep freeze. During a long outage she lost a lot of food stuff and thus, for her, a lot of money, and she’s mitigating against that happening again.

I think we’re starting to just accept load shedding as a fact of life. Which it is, but it shouldn’t be. People like to talk about which side government picks in the Middle East, or Woolworths pushing a cashless system as the real dangers to our country. I disagree: Enemy number one is load shedding. The modern world runs on electricity.


On that topic… I sort of like where it is going. From what I’ve heard, our side made a fairly good argument. Both sides (or shall I say the lawyers for both countries) are taking it seriously. Nobody really doubts the impartiality of the judges. And if a ruling is made, the odds are that some effort will be made to honour it.

When this started, I thought… pffft… there goes SA again with a half-baked attempt at being a peace broker… but I think this may be more positive than not. For both sides.

One must avoid any other issue if you are the ANC. Practicing what you are preaching is rather a key factor. Fix your hometown before you “go to town”.

In any case, I don’t think we must talk about that here. :slight_smile:

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We can of course move that to the off-topic side.

Personally I find it really hard to pick a side. Some of my Christian brothers find it very easy to pick Israel, as they seem to feel some sort of kinship with them. Conversely, I point out that the people who have it the toughest by far, from both sides, are Palestinian Christians. They exist…

The reason is that there are SO many perspectives, emotions, history, death, hate, destroyed lives, and religion, with active international meddling there, politics, that it will take an immense amount of in-depth knowledge to get anywhere close to anything even remotely factual IF one could even begin to try and be unbiased.

My vote … don’t.

Biases are fine, as long as we acknowledge them. Or rather, they are unavoidable, and therefore we need to acknowledge them.

You also don’t have to pick just one side. You can pick both, in a manner of speaking. Does Israel have a right to exist as a state (note below)? Well, actually it doesn’t matter. The point is that most of the world already recognise their claim to being a state, so that ship as sailed. If they have a right to exist as a state, then they have a right to fight back, or to demand some other manner of settling the dispute.

Whether they are allowed to fight back in the way they are doing it now: That we can debate. But I don’t think we can debate whether they are in “the right” in their current retaliation.

Note: What does it take to be a state? Well, actually it is fairly simple. You get a group of people together to say that we, here, living between these borders, are a state. And then, if enough other people recognise that, you are a state. With all respect to “international law”, things are often a bit wishy washy in this domain. So in 1948, Britain gave up the bit of land it was sitting on called “British Palestine”, which it had inherited after the Ottoman empire sided with the wrong people in WW1, and made it into a Jewish state. The new state declared themselves a state. Britain immediately recognised the new state (obviously) and the USA did it the next day (cause they tend to be a little late with such things).

Nope, not biting. :slight_smile:

No “elephant is in this room” …

EDIT: Just to explain here. If I have read anything Villiage Idiot has ever posted in all this time with how he looks at the same things we do and how he then comes around and puts on a whole new spin … I realize that with this thing in the Middle East … o boy, don’t even try!

Back to the topic read what JP Landman thinks of IRP23, seems the elephant will be around for a while…
JP Landman - Political Comment Jan 2024.pdf (179.8 KB)

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I find I’m always in a state.

we’ve been pulverised.

Just to reiterate I would be interested to know what the statistics are about the status is of domestic backup systems.
As I have mentioned it’s a subject that is avoided on my local Facebook chatgroup. Possibly the subject doesn’t fit the ‘high five’ all is good status that these chatgroups are characterised by…

The market does seem to be slightly saturated at the moment. Which doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more sales (which is probably what you’re really interested in), just that right now there is a pain/price equilibrium that has to be disturbed to get things going again. Like, you know, breaking from the low stages of maybe 2 and 3 into 4 and above again… maybe.

The people in the solar industry also report way less sales to households. It is like everyone who was going to install it, did. I have one friend who ended up in analysis paralysis, getting two quotes from two different people, then asking for amendments (how much for an extra battery, how much if I swap a FreedomWon instead of a BlueNova, that sort of thing), and in the end the time it took to decide what to install, plus being quite busy himself… and then load-shedding let up a bit… means he still didn’t install it. That guy might be back in the market next month if things take a turn for the worse, but I have a feeling there are relatively few of those out there.

The smaller market, the backup my internet modem crowd… it must be even more saturated over there.

The middle market, the “2kWh battery pack” people. There might be room left if things turn for the worse. But then also, these Gizzu packs are very affordable…

When asking a home owner (who doesn’t have a system) what they need to keep running during power outages they clearly haven’t got a clue.
Then when they are confronted with the myriad of backup options analysis paralysis takes hold…
Only obsessive types (like myself) persevere asking any question on this subject…
And then when they bite the bullet and buy something only to be disappointed then the subject is definitely closed!

Jup. That is a “thing”.

What I’ve done a number of times the last couple of years when I come across people in “stasis” who really want to make a move, I will tell them to copy/paste what I did. Nike it.
That IF they go Victron then they have options to expand later.
That IF the funds are limited, scale down but not on the inverter … there are ways to handle that, without “stepping back”.
90% of people then buy.

Many people just want to know it will work, more importantly, what will not work, so that they can “curb their enthusiasm” accordingly.

And then we have this …
Friends of ours flew overseas in such luxury they could book a shower on the plane, telling wife and I how awesome that is in this super dooper expensive class. They wanted a UPS, I gave them suggestions, them B&M’ing about the price. Remind me again, I said, what was the cost of those showers again. I seem to recall those two tickets was more than a 5kva backup solution with lithium batts? System was installed the next week.

Then we also have: I don’t want to know, I just pay, it must just work … I walk away with a smile. They don’t understand Caveat Emptor - they don’t get it that you can’t pass responsibility over to everyone and skip yourself everytime. Rather keep your money, it is not worth it, the stress you are going to cause me, or worse, cost me clients with vitriolic rants to follow on Social Media when they “pass the buck”.

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An interesting thread on this other worthwhile platform where people talk about their RE experience.
PS: They however still refer to ‘alternative energy’ which has lost its meaning but they are still happy with the phrase.

That’s interesting. Because everybody weighs things differently. One post reminded me of somebody in my family who has had solar installed. He has more PV output than I do, a bigger inverter and as much battery. Yet his draw from the grid is still high, and so his savings are not great.

At least by my lights. The routine in his household requires lots of evening electricity use, this includes heaters in his kids rooms. So for him that system gives him continuity of his lifestyle, and that is his main concern. Savings are the icing on the cake.

Some want to see a straight saving - savings on the bill offset against the cost of the system. I did a rough calculation early on, and I figured 7 years. I don’t think that any more (or my calculations of the monthly save are way wrong), but I also say to myself that there are soft benefits as well. The fridges are always running, the freezer stays frozen, wifi always on (important for me as I work from home). It’s harder to put a number on those, but they are worth something.

RE the wifi. My employers (and I would bet that they are not alone in this) have now said that when you work from home, you will put in a regular day’s work during office hours (when all our clients are working) and load shedding is no excuse for not doing so. So all my colleagues now at least have a UPS to keep a computer and wifi going.