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Your own power or no power? Load-shedding is set to intensify this year

solar power will exceed your expectations an avoid load-shedding

This year (2022) is shaping up to be peppered with load-shedding. Eskom is engaged in a maintenance program that will create additional load-shedding for most of the year, assuming all goes well. Already we are getting stage red power alerts, as Eskom requests all non-essential appliances to be turned off including your geyser & lights. Power substations are tripping unexpectedly, plunging parts of South Africa into the dark. Vandalism is rife with over 2500 incidents recorded in January. And Koeburg, the largest nuclear power generating plant on the continent, is offline. The end result is that we are unable to trust in the load-shedding schedule for a 'workaround' but can expect to be cut off at any time.

Become energy-efficient at home and work

Look at your appliances.

A gas stove and hob are one less burden on your power grid. Unplug the kettle and get a stovetop version or convert to using induction plates.

Fridges and freezers can be converted to gas-powered.

Or you can upgrade to energy-efficient A+++ appliances. 

The same applies to washing machines and dishwashers.

12V TV's & decoders and radios are available. Consider that even when on standby a normal TV and decoder use about 30W and 150W when active.

Convert to LED lighting and independent solar-powered lighting for outside.

What else do you need?

Water on tap and a veggie garden.

The water supply can be affected during load-shedding or a power outage. Especially if the power is off for an extended period. Expect the taps to run dry as the load-shedding affects the municipal water pumps.

Solar Power: what to expect.

Solar power systems are modular and can grow with your needs. That said you don't want to keep having to "add on", especially if you start too small. Estimate how much power you need or use. Factor in for high load times when the heater is on or air-conditioning, with the oven, and the washing machine, and the vacuum cleaner, and the microwave, and the kettle... Do you have an electric fence too? All these need to be considered. 

Did you switch to being an energy-efficient home or business? If so then your alternative power needs are less than that of an energy inefficient home.

Exceed your power expectations

A high load can exceed your home-grid power capabilities.

So don't pick a system that will 'just cover' an average day, you need to have a little in reserve to handle a power spike.

Don't worry we can help give you an idea of the system that you need, just request a quote.

Will the system you pick give you the maximum power?

The systems are tested under ideal conditions, so you need to look at your own property, especially the roof. Are there overhanging trees? How about any buildings, mountains or structures that overshadow your property? Does your area get more rain, mist, clouds, pollution (smog) or dust? All these will reduce the output of your solar panels.

Can I go off-grid and cut ties with Eskom?

Yes and no it depends on your unique situation. A solar panel array is primarily limited to the roof space you have available. If there is a shortfall or your roof won't support a solar panel array, a solar tower can be considered but first just look to your roof.

Eskom has begun making noises about allowing private power providers to start supplying the grid to ease the load. So there is some hope there.

The grid-tied feed-in PV systems can put power back into the grid which is also helpful for easing the load on Eskom. You are credited for the power that is fed back into the grid so effectively you run on your power generated in the day and draw on the excess that was fed into the grid at night. The ideal is to have a zero balance or positive balance at the end of the 24-hour cycle.

So if you are on Eskom's side you can stay partially on the grid and not completely sever ties. However, if you want to be independent (and environmentally friendly and forward-thinking) as well as load-shedding free then it's time to go off-grid.

Switch to alternative power

Are you ready to cut ties with Eskom and power your own grid?