Consumers and SMEs should consider alternative energy as tariffs spiral

03 July 2017: The financial strain on South African consumers and businesses is expected to increase exponentially in the foreseeable future as Eskom’s planned 19.9% tariff hike was announced to the public in June. 

Cala van der Westhuizen

Cala van der Westhuizen Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, a division of Energy Partners, and part of the PSG group of companies, comments that South Africa is still likely to see above inflation increases in electricity prices over the coming years. “In light of Eskom motivating for a near 20% increase to already high electricity prices, it is becoming increasingly important to consider alternative sources of energy.”

Van der Westhuizen adds that Energy Partners has already reviewed the planned electricity tariff increases for 2017/2018 for consumers in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Cape Town, currently being reviewed by NERSA, and have made this information available to consumers here.

Van der Westhuizen explains that this continuing trend will have the largest impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs). “As we have seen in previous years, energy tariff hikes and other power related issues such as load shedding, had massive impacts on the operating costs and the already low profit margins of SMEs. There are however opportunities for smaller companies to reduce the impact of power costs and supply on their business.”

Van der Westhuizen says that 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 SARS. Some banks also offer financing to their business banking clients for renewable energy solutions.”

Another alternative for businesses, according to Van der Westhuizen is to consider applying for financing. “The Home Solutions division at Energy Partners provides various financing options for renewable energy systems to SMEs with energy requirements below 100kW. Energy Partners’ Solar Commercial division also provides a number of bespoke energy saving solutions for companies and developments with larger requirements. Additionally, there are pay-as-you-use and leasing service agreements available for qualifying businesses, eliminating the upfront cost of installing renewable solutions,” he says.

There are many benefits to installing solar energy solutions in small businesses, all of which contribute to reducing operating costs and downtime in the event of power outages, according to Van der Westhuizen.

“A full solar solution can reduce the average SMEs electricity costs by as much as 30%. This figure is of course dependent on the nature of the business. Additionally, with custom heating, cooling and energy efficiency solutions tour clients can achieve a further 30% reduction in their electricity spend. ”

“Reliability of energy supply is vital for SMEs, and Energy Partners Home Solutions utilises expert financial models to assist business owners with the best possible cost-benefit analysis. Making the correct decisions, implementing the right energy solutions and using the optimal financing vehicle to will significantly reduce an SME’s annual energy costs,” Van der Westhuizen concludes.

About Energy Partners Home Solutions 

Energy Partners Home Solutions (EPHS) offer clients holistic and innovative home energy solution guaranteed to realise significant savings on a household’s energy bills. In 2016, the organisation launched its ground breaking new product, the ICON Home Energy Hub. The first solar inverter and battery combination developed specifically for the South African residential market.

The ICON forms part of a full home energy solution, including Solar PV, Batteries, Heat Pumps and LED lights. By combining these technologies, Energy Partners (EPHS) is able to provide significantly better savings and financial returns than other solutions: a family sized home could save up to 70% of their electricity bill and earn more than 16% return on their investment – twice what a standard PV-only solution would provide. For more information visit:

About Energy Partners

Founded in 2008, Energy Partners is a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa that provides clients with innovative solutions (including fully outsourced supply contracts – e.g. steam generation) to suit their needs. Energy Partners has built a high quality team of talented individuals and robust processes which offer end-to-end solutions and integrate the different components of energy optimisation to deliver optimum results – including capital solutions that put clients in a positive cash flow positions from day one. Industries in which Energy Partners specialise include: food retail, retail, healthcare, hospitality, food processing and logistics. For more information visit

About PSG

PSG Group is an investment holding company consisting of underlying investments that operate across industries which include financial services, banking, private equity, agriculture and education. PSG Group has a market capitalisation in excess of R40bn, with our largest investment being a 30,7% interest in Capitec.

Additional group companies include Energy Partners, Impak, Curro and Capitec.

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