Eskom have just released their interim half year results. On the surface, an R83 million profit sounds great considering the ongoing losses the SOE is infamous for. That’s about where the ‘good’ news stops. By the time you have blinked the actual losses get added to the numbers and Eskom, and therefore their paying consumers, are in for another hiding.

There are only 2 ways that Eskom can continue to operate this technically insolvent business. More bail outs, which the tax payer and electricity consumer pays for anyway, or tariff increases, which consumers then pay for directly.

This will again only encourage households and businesses to continue the move to self-generation and using Eskom as a back-up whilst, weather allowing, PV panels and battery storage provide more and more of a solution for everyday power use.

There are other advantages like stable power, no more or much reduced exposure to load shedding, great amortization of your solar investment every time there is a tariff increase and if you are a business, you can depreciate the asset over 3 years! If you run a business, it really is an easy decision.

The cost of a system for a household is less attractive, purely because you cannot write-off the purchase over 3 years and the nature of a home means that you need to spend more money on the storage part of the system. This is the pricey part of the whole system and often your ROI is around 6-8 years depending on your individual requirements. It still is well worth it given that current Eskom cost escalations meand you are comfortably looking at another 50% compunded increase over the next 5 years.

It is too late to join the early adopters, but not too late to start looking at the options. Technology in renewables means that you are paying less and less for better generation and storage.

Best: R

All of Eskom’s operations are now bleeding money

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