Increasing stages of loadshedding and extended power outages are making life difficult for remote workers. For those who don’t want to return to working at the office, or don’t have that option, addressing their home’s power security is essential.
Helping households deal with the country’s electricity crisis is a priority area for Standard Bank’s home management platform, LookSee.co.za. The site is free-to-use for all, regardless of who you bank with, and offers valuable advice, insights, vetted products and services, and a range of financing options.
Marc du Plessis, LookSee’s executive head, comments: “Electricity supply is a concern for all of us, but we need to acknowledge that remote workers have added stress with productivity losses and job security. This makes the choice of a backup solution even more important.”
With a variety of backup power solutions to choose from, we take a look at the options and how they would meet the needs of working from home.
- Solar power
This is the most sustainable backup power option and not just in terms of electricity security either. A solar system will typically provide for a large portion of your home’s power needs and the savings on your electricity bill can help you pay off your solar investment. What’s more, you’ll be protected against future electricity price increases.
For people working from home, a hybrid solar solution offers the best power security as additional solar power to be stored in batteries for use at night or on rainy days.
It’s also worth noting that government is looking at ways to incentivise home solar installations. National Treasury has launched a home solar tax incentive that will run to the end of February 2024 and plans are underway to allow homes to sell power back to the grid.
- Fixed backup
Made up of an inverter and battery storage, a fixed backup solution is a perfect choice if you need to power most of your home during outages. And as these systems are wired directly into the home’s electrical board, they automatically kick in when power is interrupted.
In this option, the batteries are charged with power from the grid. The advantage of these systems is that you can upgrade to solar power at a later stage by adding panels.
- Portable backup
For those with a limited budget, a portable backup system can offer surprising flexibility. These affordable solutions come in a variety of sizes and can be used to power essential small and medium-sized devices such as lights, Wi-Fi, internet, laptops, cellphones, TV and decoder.
These devices are charged through a normal wall plug and with LookSee’s range of portable backup devices you’ll also be able to charge them in your car during extended power outages. LookSee’s range also features leading technology which improves efficiency, reduces charging time and extends lifespan.
These items may be relatively cheap to purchase, but their high running costs (upwards of R2 000 per month) make them inadvisable for working from home, especially during higher stages of loadshedding. What’s more, generators are bad for the environment and could impact your family’s health.
Once you’ve decided on your preferred power backup option, you can turn to LookSee’s step-by-step guide on How to size your backup power supply.
“No discussion on backup power is complete without considering the best way to pay. With a focus on affordability, LookSee offers personal loans for our portable backup solutions and a variety of flexible financing options for solar and fixed backup systems” says du Plessis.
“Our new electricity minister has warned us to brace for an exceptionally difficult winter. This is particularly alarming news for those working from home, but there are solutions available that can secure your electricity supply during power outages and maintain your productivity levels.”