The South African power system is under immense pressure and has been facing chronic underinvestment for over a decade. The government has been struggling to keep up with the country’s growing energy demands, and as a result, Eskom has been unable to keep up with the power supply. To prevent this imbalance, Eskom, the state power utility, imposes, on the country, a planned power outage to avoid a total power grid collapse. This phenomenon is Load shedding.
Load shedding is not new, but it has become more acute in recent months. It is moving from bouts of Stages 1 and 2 to Stages 3, 4, 5, and even 6. In simple terms, that means where load-shedding was typically 2 hours a few times a week, it can now mean that power is not available for up to 4 1/2 hours twice a day. Businesses must now assume that electricity will be readily available on a day-to-day basis.
The impact of load shedding on businesses cannot be underestimated. Time is lost due to downtime, increased traffic, interruptions to production lines, and lost sales which directly affects businesses’ profits and turnover rates. Certain production companies and service industries that are very vulnerable lose out the most. For instance, if a business relies on a freezer or refrigerator to keep its products fresh, the loss of power could mean that its products go to waste.
Some businesses may need to manage the switch between grid power and private power because they can’t afford to shut their production lines down at all. Minor interruptions can result in hours of stoppages or lost production. Furthermore, businesses must bear many indirect costs, such as the cost of fuel for generators, the loss of perishable goods, and the cost of repairing equipment that may be damaged during power surges.
For most business owners, the situation is not sustainable, and it is driving businesses to explore alternative sources of power, such as solar power and battery storage. Switching to solar power is no longer only about being environmentally friendly or saving money; it is a business imperative. Solar power, coupled with battery storage, and in some cases, integrated with generators, can provide a solution that reduces energy costs and immunises a business from load-shedding. With the country’s abundance of sunlight, it makes perfect sense to harness this free and clean source of energy to subsidize energy security.
Having your own green energy solution, such as a solar and battery storage facility, is complex to operate and maintain. However, Broadreach Energy provides a comprehensive solution for businesses looking to make the switch to sustainable energy. We offer customized energy solutions tailored to your needs. We will assist with system design to ensure an optimal mix of savings and energy security. We build, own, monitor, operate, insure and maintain your green energy system. The result is cost- and tax-effective, frees up your capex and allows you to use that capital where it is best needed in your business.
In conclusion, load shedding is causing significant disruption to businesses in South Africa, and it is costing them a lot of money. Businesses need to explore alternative sources of power, and green energy solutions are a viable alternative in the current power crisis. Broadreach Energy provides a comprehensive solution for businesses looking to make the switch to sustainable energy. We can provide you and your business with reliable, uninterrupted power, to keep your operations running smoothly. With our end-to-end service, we can help make the transition to green energy seamless.
“The cost of load shedding to South Africa’s economy” by Ray Mahlaka, 13 November 2019, https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/economy/the-cost-of-load-shedding-to-south-africas-economy/
“The Cost of Load Shedding” by Ezdehar Masrahi, 25 September 2020, https://www.power-technology.com/features/the-cost-of-load-shedding/
“Load shedding: A survival guide for small businesses” by David Warneke, 29 May 2019