The South African energy utility company Eskom is still facing financial difficulties, leading to more price hikes for electricity. The impact of these price hikes on the South African economy can be significant. It will lead to increased costs for businesses and households, leading to Inflation, reduced consumption, and slower economic growth.
South African consumers and businesses are already battling with the price of fuel and food. The Eskom price increase will worsen it.
Additionally, electricity is a significant input cost for many industries, such as mining and manufacturing. Higher electricity prices can make these sectors less competitive, leading to job losses and further economic downturns.
The high price of electricity, combined with load-shedding that South Africans experience daily, is not doing Eskom any favours
But what does the Nersa-approved tariff hike of 18.65% mean for you?
Higher electricity bills
Even though we still have to bear with load-shedding we don’t get what we pay for. The price increase means that as a household or business, you will pay more to power your home regardless. The disposable income of the households is already under pressure, which will make it worse for families already struggling to pay bills. As consumers battle under this pressure, we expect stagnant economic growth as consumer spending decreases.
For industries like mining and manufacturing, the electricity increases make them less competitive, and it can lead to job losses in various sectors.
An increase in inflation
Consumer spending is directly linked to Inflation. As the basic cost of living increases, transport and food prices go through the roof, and we can also expect pressure on the Rand. Anyone in the import/export business will see a cut in profits with a weaker currency to work with.
The Covid-19 years showed a dramatic increase in shipping costs and the impact on businesses to absorb those costs. We see that the prices are normalising now, but running warehouses and manufacturing plants will mitigate those wins.
Of course, when there is a strain on the economy, the easiest and first port of call is often layoffs. It is always challenging to retrench staff, but for many businesses, it is the only option available to save the company.
Unfortunately, as the financial strain of rising costs impacts consumers and businesses alike, the workforce will suffer the most.
Renewable energy options to mitigate the price increase
Renewable energy solutions, such as solar, can provide several benefits for homeowners. Some of these benefits include:
• Cost savings: Over time, renewable energy systems can significantly reduce or eliminate your electricity bill. Even better, you can withstand the load-shedding schedules and continue to operate your home as usual.
• Environmental benefits: Renewable energy is a clean and sustainable source of power that does not produce greenhouse gas emissions or other pollutants. We must remove our reliance on dirty coal options, which are not renewable.
• Energy independence: With a renewable energy system, you can generate power and reduce reliance on the traditional grid. If more households and businesses get off the grid, it leaves more capacity for people who cannot afford get solar power solutions into their homes.
• Increase property value: Renewable energy systems can increase the value of a home, making it more attractive to potential buyers. Installing an excellent / off-grid system in your home is an investment. Even though you can amortise the cost/ saving against your electricity bill, it is an advantage for potential buyers.
Some countries offer financial incentives for installing renewable energy systems, such as tax credits or rebates, which can help offset the initial cost of the installation. It is time for the South African government to cut its losses and allow consumers who can generate excess power to benefit financially. It is a short-sighted view to believe that we should work in isolation. A country that works together can thrive.
If you want to move your home or business off the grid or add additional options to reduce costs, speak to us today. We can assess your needs and build a solution that will work for you.
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