How much it costs to live Eskom-free

Trade union Solidarity has recently released its electricity self-help guide which provides South Africans with advice on how to beat load shedding and limit their reliance on Eskom.

The guide was compiled by Muller Pretorius, who holds engineering and information science degrees from the University of Pretoria.

According to the report, public demand for electricity is on the increase – which equates to electricity shortages and higher prices.

Research undertaken by Solidarity shows that Eskom’s supply will still be under tremendous pressure for several years.

To help households cope with the electricity shortages, higher prices, and load shedding, Solidarity released the self-help guide.

“With this guide Solidarity is offering a useful manual to its members and the public on how households can become less dependent on Eskom,” said Solidarity.

How to beat load shedding

To become self-sustaining when it comes to electricity, Solidarity recommends the following:

  • Replace all lights with low-energy 12V LED lights which can run on standby batteries
  • Buy a diesel or petrol generator
  • Buy a solar geyser
  • Thermally insulate your house to limit the use of heaters or air conditioners
  • Invest in solar power to produce your own electricity

The Solidarity guide provided the following pricing guideline for the aforementioned suggestions:

  • 12V LED lights with batteries – R10,000
  • Diesel or petrol generator – R16,000
  • Thermal insulation for your house – R14,000
  • Solar geyser– R27,000
  • Solar power panels and batteries – between R56,000 and R280,000

Becoming completely Eskom free

To become completely Eskom free, or to run a grid-tied system to provide full protection against load shedding, can be expensive.

A 6kW grid-tied solar system, which includes solar panels and a feedback meter, will set you back around R174,500.

A 6kW solar system, which generates all the electricity needed to run a household through solar power and battery backup, will cost around R280,300.

The full electricity guide is available here.

Solidarity, in conjunction with KragDag, has also launched an emergency plan aimed at the event of a total Eskom blackout.

The plan offers practical tips on how households can prepare for the possibility of being without Eskom electricity for up to two weeks.

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How much it costs to live Eskom-free