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Surviving loadshedding: How to keep the lights on at your small business

There’s not a man, woman or child in South Africa who isn’t keenly aware of loadshedding. Who doesn’t know that stomach-churning feeling of getting another notification from Eskom se Push warning of even higher stages? That sinking disappointment, knowing that it’s another night of PB&J for supper? And how much worse is it when loadshedding means your small business stops in its tracks? 

With all that in mind, we’re sure you’re wondering how you can keep the lights on during ever-increasing loadshedding schedules. Let’s find out how to ensure your small business’s survival together.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume loadshedding is affecting your small business. We don’t need to tell you about the drop in productivity, efficiency and output every time the power cuts. You know all about it. 

What we’re here to tell you is this: Loadshedding isn’t going anywhere for a long, long time. Your small business needs a gameplan to survive.

THE SIMPLE FACT: YOUR SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS ALTERNATIVE POWER SUPPLIES FOR LOADSHEDDING

Yup, that’s pretty much all you can do. You probably already know this – but given the high cost of entry, you may be hesitant to pull the trigger. Let’s look at the best ways to invest in alternative power supplies for your small business. We’ll also look at the costs involved and how to get funding for your small business’s loadshedding preparations.

GENERATORS VS. SOLAR – WHAT’S THE BEST LOADSHEDDING SOLUTION FOR MY SMALL BUSINESS?

GENERATORS: CHEAP TO BUY, EXPENSIVE TO RUN

Generators are surprisingly popular. We all know the rumbles that kick in 2 minutes after the power goes out in any given neighbourhood. But while the appeal is a low initial price tag, this is not a once-off cost. Pouring fuel into your generator will soon offset any savings you made on the day of purchase. You might not need funding to get a generator – but after a few months of petrol costs, you probably will. 

That’s not all – generators are loud, obnoxious and unhealthy for both people and the environment. If you opt for a generator, you need to ensure that it is placed far away from your business and neighbours. This is so the noise doesn’t drown out any potential business and the fumes don’t suffocate your staff and customers. 

SOLAR: EXPENSIVE TO BUY, CHEAP TO RUN

On the other hand, solar has a high cost of entry – mainly due to the battery and inverter. However, there are many upsides to making this investment, especially with the right funding partner.

Solar free from noise and toxic fumes. It’s also free to run, eco-friendly and pays for itself in around seven years. This means that after less than a decade, you’re essentially getting free power for your small business. As a permanent installation, you’ll also be drastically improving the value of your property.

To make things even better, you’re able to sell any excess power back to the state. This could even help you offset any funding you acquired to invest in solar. How’s that for a win-win?

Tax benefits for solar installations in small businesses

Time to sweeten the solar pot even more. The government has announced that small businesses are now able to offset the costs of solar installation with tax benefits. As of 1 March 2023, businesses can claim up to 125% of the cost of their investment in renewable energy against their taxable income. This incentive scheme is likely to come to an end in 2025, so now’s the time to invest in renewables. With our funding, the state’s tax incentives and a reduced reliance on the grid, this is a no-brainer.

Scaled solar solutions depending on need

Here’s another thing to consider. You don’t need to run your entire business on solar. Smaller systems will allow you to store solar power when the lights are on. You can then move to battery power when Eskom throws the switch. So if you really can’t lay down the cash for a larger holistic system, you can still ensure a steady flow of power.

That being said, Eskom rates (and petrol costs) are likely to continue increasing. If you’re looking to completely cut your reliance on state power, a full system is a worthwhile investment. Plus, you can always funnel excess power back into the grid for a small profit.

OKAY, I’M CONVINCED: MY SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS SOLAR. BUT HOW CAN I FUND THE STEEP COST OF ENTRY? 

That’s the conundrum. Solar will pay for itself, it’s true, but you need to actually have the funds to purchase it in the first place.

In case you clicked on this link without checking us out, it’s time we introduce ourselves.

We’re GroWise Capital, and we specialise in fast funding for your small business. We love helping you make smart investments in your small business’s future. And in case everything we’ve said so far hasn’t made it clear, solar is definitely a smart investment.

We partner with small businesses to provide the funding you need to fuel growth and sustainability. We’ll work alongside you to find the best funding solution for your needs. Our approach focuses on being fast, easy and no-nonsense. This means you can get the funds you need within 24 hours – sometimes as fast as 45 minutes.So if you’re looking for a sign to pull the trigger on installing solar for your small business to beat loadshedding, here it is.Find out more about our funding solutions, get in touch to chat about your options, or apply online now. Let us help you get the cash you need to invest in sustainable alternative power for your small business today.

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