South Africans are no strangers to electricity price hikes – and unfortunately, there are more on the way. Facing a crippling debt load and uncertainty over its future, Eskom has been allowed to increase electricity prices every year since 2008.

With three approved price hikes (of 9.4%,8.1% and 5.2% respectively) between now and 2021, the cost of electricity is becoming a major line item in the expense budget of every commercial building.

Higher expenses affect everyone’s bottom line, and with Eskom’s price hikes exceeding the inflation rate, the cost of other goods and services may start to rise too.

Commercial property Cape Town owners and tenants will be equally affected by the coming price hikes. Here are some strategies for dealing with them.

When prices go up, use less power – but how?

If your electricity consumption stays the same each year, your electricity bill will just keep rising as Eskom hikes its prices.

To reduce your monthly bill – or even just keep it the same – you’ll need to reduce your electricity consumption. Here’s how.

Is your building smart enough to save power?

Smart buildings, which make up an ever-increasing part of our commercial property portfolio, are energy efficient by design.

But even if your building is older, you can take steps to improve its energy efficiency. Here are some tried and true ways to do just that.

  • Solar energy can provide some of the electricity your building needs. It may be time to invest in solar panels if you haven’t done so already.
  • Installing modern geysers, lighting systems and air cons will pay for itself in the long run with monthly electricity savings.
  • Encourage building users to save power by using lights and air con only when necessary. If you bill them for their electricity usage, they’ll be happy to comply!

Should you go off the grid?

Every time Eskom experiences heavy load shedding, we hear worrying talk about our overburdened power grid that could collapse if emergency maintenance isn’t completed. Some building owners have taken these reports to heart and have prepared their premises to go off the grid and generate 100% of their own energy.

Depending on the size of your building, its energy requirements, and your budget for maintenance and improvements, going off the grid may or may not be feasible.

The significant investment that would be needed to take a large commercial property off the grid may pay for itself over time, but a hybrid system may be more practical for most buildings.

To view our portfolio of smart buildings with energy efficient power systems, contact the Commercial Space team today.