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Generator Sales Grow

Generator Sales Grow as Eskom’s Load Shedding Programme Bites Harder

Load shedding was the term originally adopted to prevent information systems from becoming overloaded and unavailable to all. It relied on ignoring some requests in order to continue processing others. Although this term has now been applied to describe measures to prevent overloading Eskom’s electrical power grid, the programme would, perhaps, be more accurately described as rolling blackouts. Although, one can see why the more euphemistic term may have been preferred. Whatever you might choose to call them, these persistent planned power outages have been responsible for a substantial increase in generator sales in many parts of South Africa.

While there has always been a steadily growing demand for these machines in the manufacturing and mining sectors, as they have continued to expand in response to new export opportunities and the growth of domestic consumerism, that demand has recently spiked. Rather than buying new units for planned expansions, many are simply buying backup machines for use during rolling blackouts, while many smaller companies are now being forced to invest in their own on-site power source for the first time. It is, however, in South Africa’s residential areas that the growing frequency of load shedding has been instrumental in creating a comparatively new market for those involved in generator sales.

It has now been 12 years since the nation’s consumers were first introduced to load shedding as part of Eskom’s struggle to maintain the flow of electricity to homes and businesses. While a common feature of developing countries, and even seen occasionally in developed nations, it was new to South Africa, and the national service provider hastened to assure us it would only be necessary for a year or two.

Perhaps the utility company overlooked how the advent of democracy would almost double the percentage of connected homes by 2016, dashing all hopes of meeting the increased demand without a massive investment of cash it does not have. In the meantime, generator sales seem destined to provide the only reliable alternative for consumers in all sectors, and for the foreseeable future, with a viable alternative to increasingly frequent periods of living without any electricity at all.

The impact of that oversight led to 99 days of load shedding during 2015, and a marked decrease in the productivity of manufacturers and mining companies that led to a downturn in the nation’s economic growth. The latest round of rolling blackouts has seen an escalation from stage 2 to stage 4 load shedding, with outages extended even into the night hours, triggering yet another surge in generator sales.

If Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s promise of a R69 billion lifeline spread over the next three years and the reorganisation of Eskom to form three divisions was designed to alleviate fears, it did nothing to prevent these punitive cuts from being continued in subsequent months with only the promise that Eskom would discontinue its practice of implementing outages on a Sunday.

Whatever the future may hold for the national electricity supplier, the demand for power continues and, until its issues are resolved once and for all, South Africans will continue to fuel increased generator sales in their effort to reduce their dependence upon mains power, which, in addition to being unreliable, is also becoming prohibitively expensive for many of the nation’s consumers, especially in the current economic climate.

On the upside, a growing number of consumers are choosing to consider the dangers of climate change and the role of renewable energy in avoiding them. While it may take a while longer for utility companies to start selling solar energy directly to end-users, domestic consumers and small businesses are beginning to favour the solar panels and storage batteries as opposed to diesel-driven machines, a trend that seems likely to change the traditional make-up of generator sales. One thing, however, has not changed, which is that PacB Group remains a leader in power generation solutions.

Our qualified technicians offer support and advice in the selection of the right power solution for your needs by calculating your power requirements.

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