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What to bear in mind if installing a generator

With more and more residents investigating options for keeping their lights on during periods of load shedding, Stellenbosch Municipality would like to outline the conditions that need to be met to ensure that this installation is safe and legal.

Residents are advised that permission from the Municipality’s Electricity Services Department is required if their standby generator is going to be synchronised or permanently connected to the municipality’s electrical network.

If the generator is to be operated in isolation from the municipality’s network, permission from Electricity Services is not required. Consumers are, however, warned that the connection of a generator into house wiring can be fatal and should be done by a qualified electrician.

From a noise-pollution perspective, residents must ensure noise caused by a generator or similar machinery emanating from their property does not cause a disturbance. If noise travelling into the neighbours’ property exceeds 50 dBA-weighted decibels (dBA), or exceeds the residual noise level (measured at the boundary of such property) by more than 5 dBA, and the municipality receives a complaint, a notice to cease will be issued.

Furthermore, residents should be considerate in terms of any emissions their generator may emit. Note generators will emit quantities of carbon monoxide gas, which could negatively impact human health. If any resident feels the smell or smoke of their neighbour’s generator is causing a nuisance, they are welcome to submit a complaint. An inspection will then be performed by the Municipality’s Air Quality Control Officer or Noise Control Officer.

* For more info or complaints contact Martin van As at Martin.VanAs@stellenbosch.gov.za or on 021 808 8694. Emails can also be sent to Schalk.VanderMerwe@stellenbosch.gov.za.

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