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Tesla Powerwall vs generators – South African pricing compared

Tesla’s Powerwall is now officially available in South Africa, offering locals another way to avoid the load-shedding plaguing the country.

Powerwall is a home battery that stores excess energy for use when you need it, provides backup power to your home during grid outages, and keeps your appliances running in your home.

A single Powerwall unit offers an electricity storage capacity of 13.5kWh, and can be connected to draw and store power from both the Eskom grid and a user’s own solar installation.

In the event that a power outage or load-shedding takes place, the Powerwall can continue to supply a household or business with power.

According to the website, the Tesla Powerwall is priced as follows:

  • Powerwall – R143,300

  • Supporting hardware – R23,500

  • Total equipment cost – R166,800

When they visit the Tesla website, South African customers can select how many Powerwalls they would like to reserve, and they will need to complete a form detailing their type of residence and other pertinent information.

While it is a great solution to combat the ever-present threat of load-shedding, the Powerwall is a relatively expensive product.

Diesel and petrol generators

There are a number of cheaper load-shedding countermeasures available, among the most common of which are diesel and petrol generators.

These can be priced anywhere from R5,000 to R100,000, depending on how much power you want to supply your home with when the electricity goes out.

Another consideration when choosing a generator over a Powerwall is the noise – generators are engines that burn either petrol or diesel, and they make a fair amount of noise when they are powered on.

You must also consider the cost of fuelling your generator, especially if you are regularly affected by load-shedding.

Speaking to the Daily Maverick during a spate of load-shedding last year, energy expert Chris Yelland said that the true cost of running a generator is probably around R4 to R5 per kWh.

“The operating costs is the cost of the diesel fuel that is required to operate the diesel generator when the power fails. It is not an ongoing continuous operating cost,” Yelland said.

“You need to service it now and again like you would service a car. You have to be sure that at all times it is ready and working when the power fails unexpectedly.”

It is important to note that this cost may differ for petrol generators, which are far more widely available from South African stores.

Depending on how much electricity you use when connected to a generator, it may prove cheaper in the long run to buy a Powerwall or an inverter with a battery bank.

Price comparison

We have provided the supplied power specifications and prices of a number of generator products available in South Africa below, along with that of the Tesla Powerwall.

Note that the more power supplied by the generator, the more electronics you will be able to use when the power goes out.

We also included inverter generators in this comparison, which are more expensive than normal generators but are quieter, smaller, and more efficient.

The generators we listed are petrol generators, as they are significantly easier to find in South Africa than their diesel counterparts.


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