“We are currently experiencing a very high demand for generators, inverters and backup power solutions nationwide in our stores. Year-on-year sales for alternate power-related categories have gone up by over 300%,” says Gary Lindhorst, Makro’s DIY merchandise manager
The disruption caused by load shedding can be felt both in business and at home, and consumers are now more aware that alternatives do exist and are actively seeking them out. Makro has therefore increased its catalogue of backup power solution products.
“New products such as the Mobi-Volt, which is a portable device with a built-in Lithium-Ion battery and inverter, offer solutions from 0.5kw, 1.0kw, 2kw, 3kw and 5kw. These devices range in price from R14,999 to R59,999 and the largest unit (5kw) is approximately the size of a hand luggage suitcase. Customers can have these connected to their DB board with a coupler, which gives them the option to uncouple the unit for camping or use in the office. The large units can also be recharged between 5,000 and 6,000 cycles,” explains Lindhorst.
The retailer will also be stocking a powerwall from the end of August, available in 5kw and 10kw units, which can be fitted next to a DB board and connected by a qualified electrician within 90 minutes.
“These units are an integrated power system comprising of the latest inverter technology and the latest lithium phosphate battery technology with a management system to guarantee the user extended battery life. The powerwall gets charged through your electricity grid and when load shedding kicks in, your power continues seamlessly eliminating the impacts of load shedding. If you have a power bank for your phone, why not have a powerwall for your home?
“This alternative power solution gives customers the option of investing now as a step towards becoming less reliant on the grid, and at today’s prices. They can keep their lights on well into the future and save later by adding the panels to generate their own power," says Lindhorst.
He adds that the powerwall is a 100% solar-ready solution that includes all of the accessories required to connect the system to solar panels. "Another big plus is that the batteries are good enough to perform optimally for 6,000 full recharge cycles and can recharge to full within two hours, so that takes care of stage 6 load shedding schedule,” he says.
Makro announced that it will also soon be offering fully-installed solar solutions to customers.