One of the major business that is common in an urban city or settlement in Africa is a Cybercafe/Business centre.And this is due to the high demand for document-related services (such as typing,printing,photocopying,scanning,laminating,and internet browsing e.t.c) by the working class populace and other individuals who might need them to further their businesses. Even students visit there (from time to time ) to check for their results.
However, the story is not that rosy when it comes to cost of maintenance and providing power.
A lot of these outfits struggle to lower their operating costs or even break-even.They incure huge expenses in fueling and maintaining their generators. And unfortunately, the amount of revenue realized is barely enough to cover other major expenses – let alone power.How so?
Apart from shop or office rent,the next big cost for businesses in this industry is Power.Power is needed to do practically all tasks required.From photocopying to internet browsing, it is an essential commodity that can cripple the entire operations of the business – if it is lacking.
Lets take a simple scenario.The cost of photocopying a single document is N20.And the cost of internet ticket`is N100 Per hour.Assuming out of 5 computer Systems,three is engaged for browsing. Total revenue for 5 hours(and for Three Systems) is Printing + 3 Tickets = N320 multiplied by 5 hours = N1,600
Total Cost on Power alone = Cost of 1 liter of petrol x 5Hours = N145 x 5
= N725 – which is almost half of the revenue realized!
That is we are assuming that there is atleast three persons to browse and and a different person to run photocopy for within the hour.
This is just the fueling cost – aside generator repair and part replacements.And there are other over-head cost (including staff salary that should be met). This trend continues ONLY as long as the generator is sound enough to function. Unfortunately, most generators don’t last beyond 5 to 7 years.
But for Solar, it’s a different story entirely.The cost of using Solar is N18/hr !After the initial cost(and/or periodic payment) is made for a maximum of 2 years, the Home system becomes the property of the depositor-Completely! Its panels have a minimum of 25 years warranty! And the duration of power supplied is 24-hrs! Yes you heard me! Which power generating machine can last that long?
For more on How much you can save (for your business) going solar,click here
For more on Solar Home Systems and their sizes,click here
Click here to also hear from those who have gone solar and what they have to say