Many South African homeowners and businesses are looking to go off the grid due to load shedding and the high cost of electricity. While several viable options are available, solar energy is one of the most attractive alternatives on the market, and the demand for solar power presents a new opportunity for electricians.
Let's look at the gravity of South Africa's energy crisis, the opportunities solar energy presents, and how your electrical company can capitalise on the demand for the energy resource.
The energy crisis in South Africa
- South Africa's power utility, Eskom, first introduced load shedding in 2007, and fifteen years later, there’s no end in sight, with one energy expert saying that it will be years before load shedding ends. While Eskom's power cuts may be labelled ‘inconvenient’, the consequences go beyond inconvenience. Without an alternative energy source, many businesses have to reduce their operating hours or close during load shedding, resulting in a loss of income. If load shedding continues, many companies will have to close their doors.
Opportunities for solar power
- South Africa's climate is ideal for solar energy, as the country gets over 2500 hours of sunshine annually. It's a readily available renewable resource, and besides the cost to purchase, install and maintain solar panels, solar energy is free. The benefits make it an attractive investment, especially for businesses in the country.
- Electricians are qualified to work with electricity and install solar panels. While your team may need training and experience before branching out into the industry, you're in the best position to add solar installations to your list of services. Here's how you can take advantage of the growing demand for solar power.
Do your research
- Before expanding your service offerings, research the local solar market to identify your competitors. Find out why customers value their service and determine their competitive advantage. As a newbie in the industry, you can learn from their strengths and weaknesses and use this information to differentiate your business. Use market research to gather information about your customers. You need to know what their greatest challenge is so you can develop a service that solves their problem. Take the opportunity to confirm the legalities of installing solar panels and any rules you need to follow according to the Electricity Regulation Act.
Identify the skills required
- Evaluate your team's qualifications to determine what skills they'll need before you expand your service offerings. With an increasing demand for solar installation skills, there are fortunately several training courses available, but make sure you choose one suitable for your electricians. For example, your employees won't need to learn electrical basics, so find an advanced programme that enhances their skillset. Find out how much it will cost to upskill your employees to ensure the expansion of your service offerings is cost-effective. If you decide to employ additional workers to fill your skills gap, you'll need to determine how much it will cost to recruit new electricians.
Create a unique value proposition (UVP)
- A UVP is a statement that communicates the value of your product or service to potential customers. Your UVP should differentiate your business from your competitors and attract the right customers to your business so you can increase conversions and sales. An effective UVP should be a concise message describing your service's benefits and their value so customers know how your solution will solve their problems. A well-thought-out value proposition should encourage customers to choose your brand over your competitors.
Invest in tools for success
- Besides the physical tools your business will need for solar panel installations, consider how your business could benefit from software solutions that automate and streamline manual tasks. Automating and simplifying tasks can improve efficiency, helping you and your team provide excellent service. Job Card Management Software is the ideal solution for electrical companies ready to diversify, and you can use the cloud-based software to:
- Create and assign digital job cards with Job Scheduling Software.
- Get real-time job updates from your electricians.
- Reduce paperwork and complete electrical certificates via a mobile app.
- Support your team with Vehicle Tracking Software.
- Email custom quotes to clients from anywhere with Quoting Software.
- Send invoices on-site with Invoice Software.
- Job Card Management Software is flexible and can be accessed on desktop or mobile devices, so your electricians can access their job cards and mobile documents anywhere.
Get started with Eworks Manager
- If you're considering expanding your services and entering the solar power market, you'll need a cloud-based solution to help you get the job done. Eworks Manager is the ideal solution for your solar installation jobs and your current electrical projects. No matter how big or small your team is, we'll help you implement the system. We offer a free 14-day trial, so you can try the software before signing up.