The current power crisis in South Africa is having an extremely negative impact on many levels and business owners, particularly those in the manufacturing and industrial sector, are having to grapple with the knock-on effects in the form of lost working hours and other negative consequences such as dwindling cash flows, lost contracts, a shrinking customer base and the uncertain future of one’s business.
However, according to industrial property company Epping Property’s Tony Bales, a well thought out solar system could provide a win-win situation for businesses and/or commercial property assets, and a way to mitigate the harmful effects of future load-shedding.
“Your businesses rooftop is an asset waiting to help you,” he posits.
“As the owner of a commercial premises, installing a solar system on the roof of your building will greatly increase the value of your property, as an asset in your portfolio, and make it more appealing to potential buyers should you decide to sell. Not only this, but it will also make it more attractive to tenants – thereby reducing your vacancies and loss of earnings,” says Bales.
He says that businesses with solar power will not have to deal with the downtime and loss of earnings many other businesses are struggling with during times of load-shedding.
“Not only will you be able to survive future load-shedding, but you will also be largely immune to Eskom’s escalating tariffs. Not to mention the tax break you will be getting from South African Revenue Services for doing your bit for the environment.”
Epping Property advises those who are considering installing a solar system but are worried about the seemingly prohibitive cost to instead consider the loss of revenue being caused through frequent and ongoing power outages.
“Added to this, consider the cost saving over the long term if one no longer has to pay for Eskom-generated electricity to run one's business. You will basically be reallocating existing expenses to pay for a new asset that works for you.
“In effect, the savings you make from generating your own electricity will pay for the installation – until you own the system outright and then you will be enjoying free electricity, a cost saving that you can share with your tenants. They will enjoy lower electricity costs and far greater certainty of running a successful business.
"In turn, they will likely commit to occupying the space with you for a longer period, reducing your vacancy risks. A renewable energy system will assure them of your commitment to shielding them from future Eskom tariff hikes and unpredictable load-shedding. New tenants will immediately find your property attractive for their business,” says Bales.