After our previous article, you should have an idea of whether your home is suitable for a solar installation. This articleincludes cost estimates and financing options to help you make it happen.
The cost of a grid-tied system is dependent on how much electricity you need and the number of panels you install.
Table 5 shows the sizing and approximate cost of systems based on how much you are spending on electricity each month.
In standard commercial operating hours, you can expect a 30-50% reduction in your grid usage with a grid-tied solar system (load profile dependant).
This option requires limited or no upfront capital investment, no maintenance or insurance costs and you will save on your monthly electricity bills. But there will most likely be pre-qualification for finance. These options seem attractive but understand the fine print and the repayment terms very carefully. It may just be more beneficial and cheaper to pay for the equipment in full upfront.
Purchasing your own equipment is the best way to save money in the long term. There will be no finance costs and extra interest that you have to pay off. You can shop around for the brands you prefer and choose your own installers.
This option is currently only available to complexes, in which only the electricity produced is paid for. This model seems to work best with complexes with 50 units or more.
The complex signs a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a solar company that installs the solar panels for free, subject to a long-term lease and agrees to a ‘solar tariff’.
This is our final article on solar systems as a solution to the load shedding problem. In our next article in this series, we discuss ways you can prepare to keep water on tap when the supply to your home is interrupted.
Ready to invest in a power or water saving solution for your home? If you’re an SA Home Loans client, we'll help you finance it through your home loan.
Our full guide to SUSTAINABLE ENERGY & WATER is available for you to download, absolutely free
Cost estimates provided in the Sustainable Living in South Africa series of articles are approximate and valid at the time of publication.