Solar panels

The Positive Effects of Installing Solar

Installing solar onto the roof of your small business or home office is essentially turning your home or business into your own mini power plant. Once installed you will be able to generate renewable energy thus reducing your power bills or eliminating your electricity costs entirely. 

Many businesses are experiencing difficulties as the lockdown starts easing off, as so many have not been able to trade or carry on with their normal daily activities. Depending on what industry you are in you could be experiencing a tightening of your budget and having to find smart ways of saving money wherever possible. 

Whether it is subletting office space and downsizing or working from home office, there has been a definite shift in the way we are all looking at running our businesses regardless of size or what we do to put the proverbial crust on the table. 

One of the biggest money guzzlers is power when running an office whether it is a home office, factory, retail outlet, office, restaurant, hairdressing or beauty salon or other; suffice to say, we are all feeling the pinch and need to resume business and cut out expenses wherever possible 

Did you know that you can get a tax rebate from the government if you install solar? This might be the way moving forward. Being independent of the grid is smart thinking as the power grid continues to hike prices and as we continuously experience outages. 

It might cost you a nominal amount upfront to install solar, but before you know it you would have recouped all your monies in saving electricity in a relatively short space of time. 

Going solar will save you far more than installing solar and saving on electricity bills. There are numerous other financial benefits that will determine how solar can save your business money on power bills. 

  • Your business will be spared the astronomical hikes that we are subjected to every year 
  • Solar will increase the value of your home if you are installing solar for a home office,or anywhere else where solar is installed 
  • Take full advantage of the tax rebates you get when installing solar 

If there is one thing you should do, it is to save on power once your business is up and running and we can function and trade once again, even though the world will be forever changed. One thing that would never change is saving on costs wherever we can. At PHD Powerhouse we can advise you on the most befitting solar systems to suit your needs best. 


Energy Efficient Home office

10 Smart Tips to Make Your Home Office More Energy Efficient

Many of us have been forced to work remotely from home as the lockdown continues, and even as the lockdown starts easing off, businesses from many sectors are continuing in this vein. Working remotely although challenging at first, is great for saving time, money and encourages staff members to be self-disciplined. 

It does, however, cost money to run a home office and could make an impact on utility bills if you continue to do so. There are, however, numerous ways to ensure you save money on your power bills and living a green lifestyle at the same time. 

Here Are Ten Smart Things to Do When Working from Your Home Office 

  • Use a power strip. Some devices continue to consume energy even when they are switched off – switch off the power strip and everything will switch off automatically 
  • A laptop uses far less energy than desktop computers plus they are portable which is convenient 
  • Replacing your standard lightbulbs will improve your energy efficiency and they will last up to 25 times longer. Energyefficient light bulbs use up to 80 percent less energy than ordinary bulbs 
  • Use as much natural light as possible as this will cut your lighting in half 
  • Task lighting is a great idea should you need more than natural light. Desktop lamps and track lights are a great idea 
  • Only use energy-efficient heating during the winter months or find a sunny spot to work from 
  • When leaving the home office always put your computer on sleep mode as this will conserve energy, and if you are leaving for longer, switch your modem and computer off entirely 
  • Boil the kettle once a day and use a flask for your tea and coffee – it works wonders and saves a fortune on your energy bill 
  • If you are in the process of upgrading any electrical devices, now is the best time to invest in Energy Star Devices as they use less energy than your standard models and will increase the productivity and efficiency of your home office 
  • Printing should only be done when it is essential. Wherever you can, use paperless and file all your files in the cloud. It is efficient, neat and will save the environment on many levels 

It’s the little things that make the biggest difference in the office when it comes to saving energy. Grow shrubs around the windows of your home office to shield your windows from the harsh summer sun and invest in awnings or window treatments that will cut back on air conditioning systems, fans, and other heating and cooling devices wherever needed. 

It is not difficult to improve efficiency in the home office. If you follow the above tips you will be able to maximise the energy efficiency when working remotely from home. PHD supplies generators, power supplies, voltage stabilisers and more that will ensure your home Office is more energy efficient


Black surge protectors

Protect Your Electronics as Lockdown Eases Off

Now more than ever before we need to protect our electronic systems as the economy plays catch-up. It is a hard fact that many companies will decide to let their employees work remotely from their home offices, as this will save money and time, although many businesses as they open their doors are trickling back to their formal work environments, offices, shops, factories and warehouses. 

In all probability, parents will also be homeschooling their children as this has become a more affordable and convenient method of education. It might work for many families that find the effort worthwhile educating their kids online. This does, however, mean that whether you are working from home or are home schooling the kids, or simply streaming Netflix for fun,  or working from an office, shop or factory, it is important to keep your systems on and functioning well at all times. 

Protect all those electronic gadgets from surges and dips, spikes and blackouts. The instability of the power grid can shorten the life span of sensitive PCs and other electronic equipment, plus we cannot afford any downtime especially now. Many of us experience severe thunderstorms during the summer months, too, making the protection of your sensitive electronic equipment from lighting strikes a huge priority. 

UPS, UPS SystemsStabilisers, Inverters, Surge and Lightning Protection; we offer technologically advanced power protection devices that will protect sensitive equipment and data in several applications across a wide range of industries. 

Keeping the power on at home and at the office should be the least of your worries with the COVID-19 virus playing havoc on the world at large. Moving forward realistically, the grid will play havoc on our economy and our lives in general. 

In South Africa, we face numerous power-related anomalies. PHD Powerhouse plays a role in providing solutions for several applications with solutions for diverse disciplines. 

Some of these include basic designs of DB board layouts, to the implementation of power solutions. Furthermore, we offer excellent aftersales service on all products and services. We can offer solutions for small and large businesses, private residences (home offices), offices, manufacturers, mines and more. 

Our trained complement of staff ensures that we provide the assistance that South Africans need with our full range of conditioning products that we bring to the South African market. 

 Let us advise you on which applications are best for your business regardless of where you decide to operate. If getting your business up and running properly as lockdown eases off, make power the least of your problems. Get a quote to find the right protection for your systems today. 



Invest Smartly and Ensure the Lights Stay on in Your Business

Keeping your lights on is what matters exponentially. This is perhaps what will matter most once normality resumes after the lockdown period has ceased and life goes back to being normal in a sense. Although most of us realise that “normal” will not be quite what it used to be, especially for many small to mediumsized enterprises, it is still important to keep doors open and revenue flowing. 

Our power utility is not under pressure at present, but before we know it everyone will be back at work and power usage will go up, especially with the cold winter months staring us in the eye. And yes – the dreaded load shedding will be part of our lives once again. 

Get prepared and arm your business with smart devices that will keep the power on and protect all delicate equipment from brownouts, blackouts, surges and dips. These can all play havoc on data, delicate devices and other equipment or electrical machines that you have in the home office or the office, factory, retail outlet, restaurant or any other place you call your work environment. 

Additionally, summer will soon be left behind, but before long the summer storms will be back in full force and intense lightning strikes can be expected that will wreak havoc on your electrical equipmentranging from computers to land lines. 

You Have a Couple of Options to Keep those Lights Burning Regardless – Here’s How 

UPS Systems 

PHD offers the widest range of UPS Systems in South Africa which include Line UPS Systems, Online Double Conversion UPS Systems and Rack Mounted UPS Systems 

Surge and Lightning Protectors 

PHD offers a range of Surge and Lightning Protectors including Household Surge Protection (perfect for home offices and those working online), DB Board protection and Office Surge Protection 


Inverters from PHD include Pure Sine Wave Inverters and Modified Sine Wave Inverters 

Batteries and Battery Backup Systems 

PHD supplies UPS Battery Cabinets, Battery Backup Power and Battery Backup Systems 

Solar Panels 

These include Solar Panels, Solar Connection Boxes, Solar Regulators and Home Solar Systems that are perfect for the home office or for those that work remotely from home. 

Your small or medium enterprise needs to keep the doors open when the power goes out. PHD supplies generators, power supplies, voltage stabilisers and more that will ensure you continue operating no matter what the grid decides to do. The only challenge is choosing the right one for your business. 


lights at a restaurant

Debunk Myths That Energy Used By Your SME is Seasonal

Most small businesses claim that their number one unpredictable and highest costs are their energy bill. Most of the energy used in businesses is electricity – it is time to start choosing practices that are energy-efficient to reduce these costs. It is a myth that energy used by SMEs is a seasonal issue – it isin fact, an all-year-round challenge. 

Small to medium businesses have the potential to save energy – this is usually dependent on the type of business and building they operate from. By sourcing energy-saving practices, SMEs can save between 10 to 30% on their energy bill. Straightforward efficiency practices and adjustments on behaviour can be easily adjusted without compromising on employee comfort. 

By Implementing a Couple of Energy-Saving Practices You Can Cut Your Energy Consumption 

Get Your Employees Involved 

It takes a team effort to save energy – it is a combined effort that will reap the biggest rewards. Get everyone involved and encourage your team to share their ideas on how they can innovatively safe energy and find ways to save costs. Before long you will have an energy-efficient culture in the office. 

You Can Pinpoint Your Biggest Energy Waste Through the Application of Data Analytics 

Use cutting-edge technology to pinpoint how and where energy is wasted in the office. Understanding how and where energy is wasted and where you can run a more efficient operation will put money back into the bank. 

How Much Energy Does Your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Consume? 

Your heating and aircon systems will perform less efficiently through wear and tear if they are not maintained properly from the get-go. Before every summer and winter season have these services, which will lead to longevity and save on repairs. 

Clean those filters  

Air particles need to be cleared from filters of heating and cooling systems during peak cooling and heating periods as this will result in more efficiently run systems, better quality air and ensure longevity. 

Filter Sunlight During Hot Summer Months to Save on Airconditioning Units 

Use solar film on your windows, awnings and plant trees and shrubs to filter the sun and direct it from the windows. Control direct sunlight with blinds. 

There is no Time Quite Like the Present to Install Solar Power 

Solar power will offer power security for your SME when the lights go out. Additionally, solar power will enable your business to be protected from rising energy costs and can be an all-round tool to implement energy strategic costs. 

Take A Tax Break by Installing Solar 

Take full advantage of any tax breaks or incentives when installing solar for your business. There are substantial tax breaks that have been placed by National Treasury to incentivise small to medium business to install their own generation of power by installing grid-tied ground-mounted or rooftop solar systems to generate power to warehouses, factories, farms, parking lots and buildings of every description. 

It is time to think out of the box when investigating ways to save power in your small to medium enterprise. Ask other small enterprises what systems they have implemented to make energy savings.

Grape vines at a wine farm

Wine Farms Taking Advantage of Solar Energy

Electricity prices are continuously going up. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that many wine farms of all sizes are turning to other ways of getting power for their farms, Renewable power generation, especially the power generated from solar photovoltaic is becoming increasingly popular. 

The whole of the continent of Africa enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year – this is according to the SA Department of Energy. Solar radiation globally is in the region of 220W/m2 for South Africa compared to other places that have only in the region of 150 W/m2 (the USA) and in the region of 100W/m2 for the UK and Europe. As the stats indicate – South Africa is one of the spots with the most sunshine in the world. 

The wine industry in South Africa boasts a long history of making as little impact as possible on the environment. 

It should come as no surprise that many wine farms throughout South Africa are installing Solar PV technology on their estates to create sustainable energy resources and to become less dependent on the power grid whilst reducing their carbon footprint.  

Many wine farms and wine farmers are keen on implementing conservation in their farming methods – solar power is one step further and makes sense. Winemaking consumes plenty of electricity and if this can be controlled with savings made in this area of wine production, then this money could be put to other, better use. 

As prices for electricity from the grid spiral out of control, it has become a matter of urgency for wine farms to turn to renewable power generation – particularly where solar photovoltaic is used to reduce the costs of power from the grid. 

Until quite recently, exorbitant costs of PV panels made it an expensive exercise to install solar PV – this was the case with most industries including the wine industry. Over the past couple of years, there has been a marked reduction in the cost of solar modules and are now more affordable to implement. 

The potential savings of solar plants will generate substantial amounts for wine farms – this applies to all winemakers, including the smaller farms.  

As with all businesses, wine farms need to save money, and with the right energy solutions for farms of all sizessolar will hedge the costs against any future electricity increases. 

H2 – Why should wine farms switch to and embrace solar? 

  • With solar energy, you will be able to protect your wine farm from any increases in the foreseeable future when it comes to increases in utility prices 
  • Installing solar on your wine farm will allow you the opportunity to make a difference  
  • Installing solar means that you can reduce your energy costs for running your farm 
  • Solar enables you, the wine farmer, to reduce your carbon footprint 
  • Become independent and powerful by not relying on an unstable power grid 
  • Become a beacon of environmental responsibility by installing clean power to use on your farm 
  • By implementing an environmentally friendly brand consumers will have confidence in your brand 
  • There are definite tax benefits with installing solar 
  • Solar is used for borehole pumps 
  • Quality is maintained as power is not compromised 

Tax benefits for installing solar on your wine farm 

To qualify for tax benefits from installing solar – all machinery, implements and utensils need to be owned by the taxpayer claiming for deductions. These can also be under credit arrangements 

These machines or implements are brought to the taxpayer for the first time 

These machines or implements are being used by the taxpayer in the generation of electricity from renewable energy resources 

A taxpayer is permitted a deduction of costs of the asset producing electricity at 50% of deduction costs in the first year of use, 30% in the second year and the rest in the 3rd year of use. If the system produces less than a megawatt then the taxpayer will be permitted a 100% deduction in the first year of use. 

Renewable energy is the obvious way moving forward with consumers driving the market for sustainable wines. It is only a question of time before the wine industry is driven entirely by the sun. 






Shopping Centres and Solar Power

Owners of shopping malls and shopping centres, are now, more than ever, opting for solar power energy resources. It is time to take back the power and to become independent from the power grid. 

The past ten years have seen the price of electricity in South Africa increasing more than 300%! This is a huge amount of money and there is no end in sight for increases and demand. Load shedding has cost businesses both large and small billions, not to mention the debilitating effect power outages have had on the economy. 

Solar energy is becoming more affordable and the advancement in batteries and technology has resulted in many shopping centres and malls going off the grid. 

The investment of solar photovoltaic systems could be one of the wisest decisions owners of retail malls and centres can make. Installing solar power can provide a huge advantage over other centres that are using power from the grid. 

It is no secret that the power utility is becoming more and more expensive with bills mounting up just to keep the lights on and the doors open. The owners of malls and other commercial buildings will gain a competitive edge by installing solar power on their rooftops.  

One of the biggest advantages is that there will be no power hikes. Over a decade or more shopping centres and malls will be paying the same amount for their utility usage, whereas, other malls and centres using power from the grid will see their electricity bills double, triple or quadruple in the same period. Additionally, going green and promoting an eco-friendly business is great PR. 

Solar panels guarantee free electricity for many years by installing solar – often generating free electricity for 25 years, although many solar panels can last up to forty years. 

Going off the grid 

Going independent and off the grid will result in savings in the long-term. The savings will soon pay for the solar installations and will keep the lights on when the power from the grid dips, surges, experiences brownouts and blackouts. The never-ending price hikes in electricity from the grid will become something of the past. Shopping malls and shopping centres will no longer be the victim of mismanagement and monopolism of the utility once they are using solar power. It is a good time for businesses to take back their power. 

Off the grid solutions could also include power stored in batteries, large capacitors and flywheels for times when there is low sunlight. Saved power is used when necessary.  

There are optional grid connections that are useful for the power to stay on when there is insufficient storage in your batteries. These solutions are a brilliant option for remote areas where power is required. 

Reducing your carbon footprint 

The biggest advantage of installing solar power for shopping malls and shopping centres is that it has zero-air pollution. This is over and above the fact that solar saves money, creates jobs and boosts economic development. 

 While our world is faced with the growing problem of global warming, installing solar power is one of the best ways for retail shopping centre owners to reduce their carbon footprint and in the process save money on future retail shopping center electricity bills. 

South Africa is blanketed in solar resources availability that is one of the highest in the world and has sunshine almost all year round. 

The solar irradiance levels, particularly in the North Cape and North-West Province, means that the strength of the solar power received is very usable. South Africa is well-placed to make use of free, reliable energy from the sun throughout the year. 

Shopping Centres and Shopping Malls are increasingly using solar power to power a clean energy future. Solar energy is one of the best options from a cleanliness aspect with no emissions released when using PV panels. 

South Africa is currently faced with numerous challenges in providing affordable, reliable energy in today’s complex energy market due to the continued rising demand for electricity. Owners of shopping malls and centres make a difference when using solar. 



Office space with desks and chairs

6 Small and Medium-Sized Business That Use the Most Energy

Small to medium-sized businesses must watch their energy consumption once they are up and running. It is easy for power usage to spiral out of control. Get your utility to assist with breaking down exactly where the energy costs are being used. 

These six businesses are the biggest culprits for using the most energy 

  • Car Dealerships 
  • Grocery outlets 
  • Bakeries 
  • Restaurants 
  • Convenience stores 
  • Hotels and Motels 

Why car dealerships use so much energy 

Perhaps the three biggest causes of using so much energy in the car dealership industry would be lighting, lighting and lighting! A showroom without bright lights would be equal to a rainbow without colours. 

Car dealerships require plenty of bright light to function properly. Car showrooms require plenty of bright lights to light of showrooms to be able to view cars to enjoy the best view possible to look inviting and put their best foot forward. Additionally, car showrooms require bright lights to ensure the vehicles are kept safely. Furthermore, air conditioning units and heating of buildings combined with computer costs and security systems combined with service centre equipment power needs. A small percentage of reduction of power usage by dealerships throughout the country will result in massive savings. 

It is important to pinpoint which equipment is using the most power – this can be done by a process of elimination when the equipment is not in use. Replace lighting with more efficient lighting systems, insulate your doors, and install eco-friendly heating and air conditioning units. 

Why grocery outlets, bakeries, restaurants and convenience outletuse so much energyHere are some of the reasons why these businesses using so much energy 

Refrigeration and kitchen costs can add up. Grocery stores and convenience shops that have bakeries and delis attached to them need to ensure that their refrigeration is kept in peak condition 

Grocery stores that have bakeries and delis have to factor in costs of kitchen equipment. Ovens will be part of this. Bakeries and restaurants have these costs too. Costs that include lighting, heating and cooling for the comfort of customers need to be calculated into these costs. Factor lighting in, too, if the facility is open after work hours. 

Convenience stores and garage combinations use a massive amount of electricity as these bright lights light up the pumps day and night. The power used will be quite substantial. 

And convenience stores that have gas stations attached, with their bright lights by the pumps? That power bill is going to be even bigger.  

All the above businesses should consider switching to closed lighting cases and installing efficient HVAC systems (HVAC equipment has a control system that regulates the heating and air conditioning). 

Consider installing solar panels to make your business run more efficiently. The savings on energy can give the SME a financial boost when profits are low. 

Why motels and hotels use so much energy 

Motels and hotels are establishments that are open for 24 hours a day; therefore, they use huge amounts of lighting and energy. Guests who stay over in hotels and motels blast air conditioning and often leave the lights blazing. 

Fit lights that only come on automatically when the door is unlocked. Make changes is by using as much natural light as possible – large windows that let natural light into the rooms when unoccupied or being cleaned. Lobbies that have natural light streaming through windows is a great idea. Increasing natural light and modifying landscaping will protect buildings naturally from harsh sunlight and the relentless summer sun. 

These six SMEs can find numerous ways to reduce costs, save masses of energy and make their businesses run more profitably. Change the way you think and the way you use energy – begin by evaluating your power usage. 





Warehouse shelves

Ways To Make Your Warehouse More Energy Efficient

The biggest energy gobblers in any warehouse are temperature control and lightning. Energy control in the form of heating, refrigeration and cooling will impact on your bottom line. By reducing the two biggest energy gobbling culprits, you can make a massive saving in your business. 

Save energy and money while reducing the carbon footprint of your warehousing facility – here’s how: 

Add shading around your warehouse as this will reduce heat and can minimise costs of cooling. 

Forklifts that are battery-operated instead of electrical machinery will reduce the need for added ventilation and reduce the load on exhaust fans, thus saving energy. 

Taking these and other smart steps towards saving energy will make a positive impact on your carbon footprint. 

H2 – Green Energy Saving Hacks for your warehousing facility 

  • Plant trees and greenery around the perimeter of your warehouse instead of using paving and cement slabs. Paving and cement reflect sunlight plus they store heat which can impact on the temperature of your building. Shady trees and shrubs will reduce your cooling bill while making your building and warehouse facility more carbonfriendly 
  • Choose building materials that are within proximity to reduce costs on transportation 
  • Wherever possible use recycled materials such as recycled wood and recycled steel products Support environmentally friendly companies 
  • Battery-powered forklifts will reduce emissions and minimise loads on exhaust fans and ventilation systems. By reducing the load, the lifespan will be increased on these systems which will save you money as you won’t have to replace these systems quite as often 

More tips to save power 

Add partition walls as they will insulate and control temperatures. Insulated partition walls are especially useful for temperatures that are varied across a large warehouse floor space or area. 

Warehouse doors need to be insulated as these will save your warehouse energy. It is essential to insulate warehouse doors; open doors lose energy in any warehouse. Your doors need to be of the high-speed variety (they close quickly),minimising the loss of energy, and they need to be easy to repair. Fast-moving doors that are insulated will put money back into the bank. 


Install air curtains where doors need to be left open. It is of great interest to learn that air curtains can save your business as much as 80% of the energy which is usually lost through an open door. Air curtains are a surprisingly cost-effective method of saving energy in warehouse situations, plus they double up to prevent insects from flying into your warehouse. 

Choose fluorescent lighting over sodium lights and metal halide lights. Fluro lights could save up to 80% on your energy bill. 

Natural lighting is perhaps your most cost-effective solutions for warehousing. Choose glazed skylighting on the north and south-facing walls which will provide excellent natural lighting. It is believed that natural light encourages production and boosts the morale of workers. Choose automated lighting systems for your warehouse to adjust as daylight fades into night. 

There are many ways to reduce the power usage in a business, whether it is a small to medium enterprise (SME) or a large blue-chip company with numerous branchesBy installing solar, using natural resources wherever possible, and installing the right protection for all your devices when the power is unstable will save you in the long run. Shop around for the right systems and protective devices for your business, regardless of size. 


Electric plugs on an adapter

5 Questions Asked About DB Board Protection

We have all heard about surge protection and DB Board Protection – yet many of us are a little unsure how this works and what there is to know about DB Board Protection. 


Here are five common questions asked about DB Board Protection 

When we install surge arresters in our DB Board in the office – does this mean that there will not be any damage? 

When DB surge arrestors are installed you will no doubt dramatically decrease the risk of damage to your electronic devices, although this does not mean that your sensitive equipment is completely safe. 

Should the supply of power dramatically increase (say, to 250 Volts) will the surge arresters protect all my office equipment? 

The answer is sadly no as the DB surge arresters are designed to protect against high energy surges but not as regulators for surges and spikes 

Explaining the differences between Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 Surge Protection 

Type 1 and Type 2 surge arresters are installed underneath the incoming breakers. Type 1 surge protection is usually installed when there is a lightning bolt installed on a roof of a building. Type 2 is usually installed when there is no lightning bolt on the roof of a building. Type 3 is installed when the loads are sensitive to surges – such as computers and other electronic equipment 

If the Surge Arrester is disconnected – can this be re-set? 

The surge arrester, once disconnected will have to be replaced altogether and cannot be re-set 

Can I install 2 Surge Arresters and if so, will they increase surge protection? 

Installing 2 surge arresters won’t make any difference whatsoever to handling surges 

Distribution Board surge protection plays an important role in the world of commerce, and profitability depends largely on the competencies of many high-tech devices and systems. For effective protection you need to invest in a surge protector of at least 600 to 700 joules and higher – obviously, the higher, the more effective. The clamping voltage is what triggers the surge protector.