Consumers are taking another serious look at solar energy after Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa recently announced an 18.65% tariff hike scheduled for April 2023, with another 12.47% increase on the horizon for 2024.
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The price of electricity has risen by 653% since the start of the energy crisis in 2007 – nearly three times greater than tariff hikes experienced in the two decades that preceded it. This comes even as increases in income per capita has stagnated in recent years.
“A price increase of this magnitude amidst ongoing stage 6 loadshedding has considerably buckled consumer’s confidence in the national energy provider,” said Rein Snoeck Henkemans, Managing Director at Alumo Energy. “As grid deterioration outpaces repairs and consumers look cautiously to their shrinking wallets, the question becomes: can we afford to not make the change to solar?”
Given these meteoric price hikes, consumers may soon find themselves choosing between paying their electricity bill or buying food if they do not take substantial steps or preventative measures, warns Snoeck Henkemans.
“Crucially, homeowners and small businesses do not have to be forever beholden to Eskom, as alternative power generation solutions such as solar are becoming increasingly more accessible and affordable.”
Currently, the average household consumes about 30kWh of electricity per day, or roughly R3,000 per month. Under the new tariff, the same household could pay around R3,560 per month.
Under the 18.65% tariff increase, solar will be less expensive than grid energy, and will help free households from ongoing loadshedding issues.
“Solar energy is South Africa’s most abundant natural resource. We have the opportunity to get most households to 80% to 90% off the grid, with the option to use grid energy on days with exceptionally low sunlight availability.”
“The simple fact is that, if financed through a home loan or purchased through a rent-to-buy option, solar is less expensive than Eskom direct or municipal-supplied electricity. Technological advancements and widespread adoption have made solar more inexpensive and reliable than ever before, finally providing the average consumer with a viable and cost-effective alternative to grid energy.”