Subsidy on solar panels
As an individual in South Africa, you are eligible for several subsidies, which should make it attractive to switch to solar energy. Major municipalities across South Africa are allowing commercial and residential property owners to feed renewable energy back into the power grid. Primarily, these are the Residential Rooftop Photovoltaic (PV) Programme. This programme offers subsidies and net metering to residential consumers who install grid-connected photovoltaic systems. Net metering allows excess electricity generated by the solar panels to be fed back to the grid, resulting in a discount on the consumer’s electricity bill.
Net metering of energy compares the solar energy generated by your solar panels during the year, and streaks it against the electricity you take from the grid. This means that thanks to solar panels, you start saving money from day one, and your investment in solar energy becomes more interesting.
The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) regulates net metering in the country, and in order to qualify, owners of PV systems will need to go through an approval process:
- Must have a renewable energy system that meets the regulations and standards set by NERSA.
- Having a bi-directional meter installed by a licensed service provider.
- Complying with all the technical requirements of the net metering system
Investing in solar panels
So although you can take advantage of a subsidy on solar panels, an investment is still required. An investment, by the way, that you will quickly earn back, especially with the large number of sunshine hours we have in South Africa. For example, in Cape Town: the total annual amount of sun is 3,100 hours. This is an ideal condition for a good return on your solar panels.
Switching to solar panels is also becoming increasingly urgent. The load-shedding and unreliable energy grid has a major impact on our daily lives. This is precisely why it is so important to become as independent from the energy grid as possible. Solar panels are a first solution to this, but we need to think further. For instance, by researching private home batteries to temporarily store energy. This has several advantages, such as far-reaching independence from the energy grid, higher savings and an overall sustainable energy supply.