The Cavern has already been doing this for many years. We use low energy globes where possible and our geysers, freezers, pool pumps and other large electrical appliances are turned off at peak periods using load shedding devices. Now Eskom has asked us to save another 20%.
The hot water temperature has been switched down to 50°C. Traditionally, geysers are set at 65°C, but this is unnecessarily hot and dangerous for young children. All of our geysers are insulated with geyser blankets and our hot water pipes are cladded. The most economical way to get a hot shower at The Cavern is to turn the hot tap in THE BATH on full – once the water runs warm, then change to the shower tap. Be patient, in some of our rooms it can take up to 6 minutes to get hot water. Don’t give up too soon, some of the pipes are very long, but the cold water is not wasted. It all goes into the Woodstock Dam to be used in the Hydro-electric scheme and pumped up to Gauteng.
There is enough hot water for everyone in the hotel to shower at once, provided each person is reasonable. But there is not an infinite supply and Eskom load shedding can exacerbate this.
During load shedding we use our 180kw Caterpillar diesel generator. This is an expensive machine to run – it can use 50l of diesel per hour. It can cope with most of the load but cannot provide all of the demand at peak periods. In winter, during peak times, the under-floor heating will be switched off until the demand drops. In the case of electricity black-outs please remember that the generator is switched on at 07h00 and off at 22h30. When there is no electricity it gets very dark – you will need a torch or your cellphone light works well in an emergency.
When leaving your room, please turn off everything, including the under-floor heater. Close the windows and curtains if you want to retain warmth.
Please report electrical faults, or any public lighting that is left switched on all the time. Please feel free to turn off any lights when leaving public rooms.
Thank you for your help – together we can really make a difference.