As it has become more urgent and beneficial to secure alternative means of power generation, we will explore the two main alternatives that Zimbabweans turn to as a backup source of electricity during the grueling periods of load-shedding which may go as long as 10 hours a day.
To use a generator, the main things involved are buying the generator first of all and the added running cost of buying the diesel or petrol to power your generator. In a standard situation, we shall assume you choose to buy a 5 kVA Diesel Generator. A good generator of this kind may cost you between US$1200- US$1500. Now, such a generator, if you are powering you lights, your TV and your fridge during load shedding, may use up to 5 litres of diesel per day to keep the power on for those 10 hours of load shedding. AT the current price of diesel, this translates to approximately US$8 per day on fuel, US$240 per month and about US$2800 per year.
In conclusion,running a generator backup for 5 years in this situation will potentially cost you:
(2800 x 5) fuel + (1500) generator = $15500
To turn to solar for your electricity backup plan, you have numerous options at your disposal depending on the size and number of appliances you want to be able to run, you could choose to simply get a basic backup system which includes an invertor and solar battery such that when Zesa is available, your battery is being charged, and then when Zesa is gone, you may run your appliances, that is, Lights TV, Fridge(optional) using the power stored in your solar battery. The most basic backup of this sort is available for US$750 and the cost may increase depending on how long you want the backup to be able to run. For example you could get additional batteries so that you are able to you more appliances and so that the backup lasts longer.
Additionally, you could add solar panels to your backup system so that during the day you are fully able to use solar power completely, while the excess energy produced is stored in your solar battery. You could even decide to operate completely off the zesa grid and power you home exclusively through solar power.
The options available to you in the solar field in this case therefore vary from about US$750 to about US$3000, with many options in-between. Therefore in the interest of fairness we will use the upper estimation to compare with generators. Therefore, lets assume you choose to get a very powerful solar system and it costs you around $US3000. The good thing about the solar system is that upon installation, there are no further costs to you, no fuel required, just sunshine.
If we compare the costs over 5 years here, the generator will have cost you US$15500 whereas with the solar system you only incurred a once of cost of US$3000, meaning with the solar system you only paid 1/5 of the cost of the generator system.
There is really not much more to say at this point because the mathematics is speaking for itself. Men lie, women lie, but numbers do not.
If you are interested in getting a solar backup system for your home be sure to get in touch with us. Call +263 (242) 230 1022 or WhatsApp +263 78 704 9916