With more and more residents investigating the 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 stand-by 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 that noise caused by a generator or similar machinery emanating from their property does not cause a disturbance. If the 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 please be considerate in terms of any emissions that their generator might give off. Note that generators will emit quantities of carbon monoxide gas, which is dangerous to human health. If any resident feels that 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.