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Sectors 12 September 2022

De-Risking Solar Installations for the Commercial Property Sector

A relatively low investment in solar PV can yield high benefits for property developers, landlords and retailers – but solar installations are not without their risks. See how PowerPulse is helping this sector with a simple end-to-end solution.

As South African business tries to regain its footing following two years of successive catastrophes, a respite from loadshedding is not likely.

Despite slowed economic activity on account of Covid-19 restrictions, South Africa experienced its worst year of loadshedding yet in 2021 according to PwC, with 2400-gigawatt hours of blackouts – representing a 38% increase on the year before. And with Eskom predicting up to 101 days of loadshedding in the winter months alone, the prospects for 2022 are not looking good.

Beyond the devasting impacts on productivity, steeply rising electricity tariffs are also taking a toll on business. With a 15.6% hike in electricity tariffs in 2021, a further 9.6% increase expected in 2022 – and indications that Eskom may escalate rates again by over 20% in the coming years, the energy crisis is peaking.

Good news for property developers and landlords

To alleviate some pressure on the over-burdened electrical grid, Government has removed the licencing threshold for private electricity provision, allowing private entities to self-generate power without requiring a NERSA licence to do so.

  • For the commercial property sector, Solar Photovoltaic (PV) power will come to play a vital role in cutting electricity costs and delivering reliability of, or supplementing energy supply
  • For holders of bonded properties, these cost savings will become important as historically low interest rates rise once again
  • Clean, uninterrupted power will provide developers and landlords with an important differentiator to appeal to buyers and tenants spoilt for choice in a market with high vacancy rates
  • And the ability to mitigate rising energy costs with solar PV, will also help protect future income by retaining tenants by offering cost-effective utility fees.

Incentives announced under South Africa’s power plan will further offset the cost for rooftop solar power installations. Businesses and households who install solar panels will benefit from Eskom’s pricing structure and rules, allowing them to sell excess power to the grid.

PowerPulse: Mitigating Solar PV risks for SA’s property-sector

While solar power offers substantial energy efficiency benefits for business where relatively low investment can yield high rewards, solar PV installations are not without their risks.

When it comes to commercial installations of any size, for those who are not experts in the renewable energy sector it can be challenging to accurately assess energy and infrastructure needs, calculate costs versus expected return, vet suppliers, evaluate proposals, compare specifications on the recommended components and identify the quality of the proposed technology and warranties.

PowerPulse by Standard Bank is a digital platform that is designed to help developers, landlords and retailers cut through this fog and navigate the complex process of commercial solar PV installations with ease – by delivering an end-to-end technical, legal, and funding solution.

PowerPulse assists the commercial property sector to:

  • Complete an online feasibility assessment based on your site, consumption, and size
  • Set-up site visits and briefing sessions with accredited, pre-vetted providers
  • Receive three proposals with a comparison report to help you assess these estimates and compare like-for-like on:
    • The specifications, quality, and warranties of proposed components
    • Sizing of the system in relation to your annual consumption load profile and any future growth projections o Pricing calculations with cashflow implications
    • Payback periods with scenarios that both include and exclude South Africa’s 12B tax incentive
    • Relevant ongoing maintenance costs
  • Legal and technical assistance via our solution providers to ensure compliance with local municipal and Eskom rules and regulations for solar PV connections 
  • And finally, should you require funding, Standard Bank offers a specialised financing solution for solar energy projects beginning at R250 000, with no upper limit constraint.

PowerPulse is free

  • The PowerPulse platform is for free use by any business operating in South Africa, with no charge for completing the feasibility analysis or connecting with pre-vetted Solar solution providers
  • All Solar PV installation and maintenance costs will be listed in the quotes you receive via the platform
  • Financing fees apply should a funding solution from Standard Bank be required.

Interested to learn more?

PowerPulse is an innovative solution that is transforming the way we produce, deliver and consume energy in South Africa. For more information, please visit the PowerPulse website.