Cala van der Westhuizen spoke with EE Publishers in March 2017. He discussed looming increased electricity tariffs for home, and particularly business owners. South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the next few years. It therefore makes it increasingly important to consider alternative sources of energy. Finding the light at the end of the Eskom tunnel, we discussed how to prepare for increase electricity tariffs.
Since 2008 the average tariff increase in South Africa has been around 300%. According to our research, the next eight years will likely see a year-on-year tariff increase of at least 6% to 8%.
In light of the upcoming 2017 Budget Speech, we are also waiting to find out if the government will introduce a new carbon tax. If this is the case, tariff increases could be as high as 13%.
There are, however, opportunities for smaller companies to reduce the impact of power costs and supply on their business. SMEs should take advantage of the incentives provided for the installation of renewable energy solutions.
SMEs need to keep in mind that they can claim a percentage of the cost of solar, and other renewable energy solutions, back from the South African Revenue Service.
Some banks also offer financing to their business banking clients for renewable energy solutions.
Alternatively, businesses can consider financing options from certain service providers.
The Home Solutions division at Energy Partners provides various financing options for renewable energy systems to SMEs with energy requirements below 50 kW. Energy Partners’ Solar Commercial division also provides a number of bespoke energy saving solutions for larger companies.
Additionally, there are pay-as-you-use and leasing service agreements available for qualifying businesses. This eliminates the upfront cost of installing renewable solutions.
A full solar solution can reduce the average SME’s electricity consumption by as much as 30%. This figure is of course dependent on the nature of the business. Custom heating, cooling and energy efficiency solutions have resulted up to 30% reductions in electricity use for a number of our clients.
With this in mind, it is important for business owners to do a proper cost-benefit analysis. This will ensure that they are making the correct business decisions. These should include implementing the right energy solutions and using the optimal financing vehicle to reduce their annual energy spend.
Get in touch for a free energy analysis, or to discuss any questions you might have with our energy experts.
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