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Namrata Zala

January 24, 2023

Keeping The Lights On: Loadshedding Alternatives

We’ve got sustainable solutions for you.

Dezembaaaa is over. The electricity is still temperamental. The fuel your generator chugs is expensive and harmful. And nowadays, there are reports of Stage 8 loadshedding – what even is that? 

As you may already know, loadshedding, implemented by the state-owned power utility Eskom, is a measure to prevent the national grid from collapsing due to a shortage of electricity. While the government and Eskom have plans in place to address the energy crisis, we have some alternative solutions that can help keep the lights on and are eco-friendly at the same time!

Our first suggestion is investing in solar panelling for your home, as it is a great way to generate electricity without harming the environment. You can either purchase your own solar panel system which costs around R70,000, guaranteeing you an alternative power supply for good when Eskom doesn’t deliver, or you can rent some for a limited period of time which could prove to be more affordable. 

Some rental options for solar panels in South Africa:

  • Alumo Energy: A great, price flexible option that allows you to rent solar panel systems until you can buy them, with annual maintenance. 
  • GoSolr: GoSolr is a cost-effective option to go solar, starting at R1,580 a month, which for some is less than their monthly electricity cost. They are available across South Africa, and are a cost-effective alternative to enduring loadshedding.

In the case that the option to go solar is out of budget, here are some options that are much better for the earth than your run-of-the-mill diesel generator:

  1. Gizzu 269

Price: R5,500-R9,000 

This is a powerhouse. It can handle a 4hr loadshedding with just under half-battery life to spare with 65cm TV, AppleTV & Soundbar. Not only this, but it runs desktop PC or iMac 27" for up to six hours! It has a built-in cooling fan to prevent overheating and has a total output power of up to 150 watts. The Gizzu 269 inverter is a cost-effective solution for providing power on-the-go, making it an ideal choice for not only loadshedding, but also camping, picnics, road trips, as well as emergency situations.

  1. MPSG-1000

Price: R14,900

This unit is a great alternative for those who can’t install solar. It can run a whole work-from-home set up, alongside TVs, larger speakers and wifi routers without dropping below 50% in a four-hour period. For the Stage 8 blues, this could very well be a dream. It may not be that easy on the eye, but it sure gets the job done. 

  1. Ellies 720w Inverter

Price: R9,499

This portable inverter can be wheeled around, and easily blends into your office space. It can power a smart TV, your wifi and your DSTV explorer, alongside being able to charge your devices and keep your work-from-home set up connected. There are also built-in measures to prevent overloading and overheating, and it’s disposition means its suited to out-of-home activities too, such as roadtrips or picnics. 

  1. Mecer 1200VA 720W 12V Inverter

Price: R3,999

This is the most affordable of this list, and is a pretty compact find too! It powers a small flat-screen tv, a computer monitor, laptop, wifi router and can charge all of your devices, with a lifespan of over four hours. It also automatically recharges when the power returns - you’re ready to go all the time! It also has built-in measures that prevent overheating. 

That’s not all, folks!

Here are some of the smaller frills, that’ll still keep things going without having to make a huge dent in your pockets. 

  1. UPS for Wifi Router

Price: R760

Who says you have to stop scrolling? Stay online with a UPS for your Wifi Router and don’t miss out on your work, or your friends. This UPS turns on automatically upon power-outage, and is compatible a USB adapter for your phone cables too.

  1. Rechargeable Solar Light

Price: R185

You really don’t have to strain your eyes by candlelight - this rechargeable light has got you covered for evenings in the dark. With a 4 hour run time on low power mode, and a capacity to charge your phones, you can stay connected. The best part? This light is solarpowered, and charges up even on low-light. Convenient, affordable, and sustainable.

  1. CADAC Gas Stove

Price: R800

Don’t miss out on a hot meal because the electricity is playing games again. This CADAC gas stove is compact and light weight and easy to tuck away - this also means you can pack it with for a camping trip, or for an extra hob when you’re cooking a big feast. This is a sustainable find and will last you years to come.

Watch out for more ideas on how to tackle loadshedding in an eco-friendly way on our upcoming app - sign up to Tweak beta

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