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Debunking the myths of solar energy

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solar-panelsDebunking the myths 1: Solar is unaffordable

If your residential complex wants to get on solar here’s why the cost to install it may not matter….

“Solar is expensive”

It really depends on how you look at solar. If you talk about solar panels, boxes and wires ‘the technology’, this is true. The initial upfront cost is high. As a simple rule, installing a solar system will cost around 8-10 times the annual electricity bill you want to replace. Why? Well it’s really because unlike coal or other forms of energy, all the costs sit in the technology itself, after that the sun provides a free and ongoing energy source. There’s no coal to pay for once it’s installed!

Today you don’t need to own a solar system to get clean energy. Sounds confusing? It’s actually quite simple, with companies like SolarAfrica you can get what you want from the start: cheaper energy that comes from a system they install, own and manage. You simply pay for the cleaner energy you use.

“The single most important thing about SolarAfrica’s residential complex solar service, is that customers get clean energy without paying anything upfront” explained Johan Pienaar, Commercial Director, SolarAfrica. “This solution makes clean energy a viable option to those people living in sectional title complexes all around South Africa, immediately”. Myth busted.

“Solar Service Agreement, What’s that?”

First of all, what’s a ‘Solar Service Agreement’? It’s a type of contact where one company (the service provider) pays for, installs, owns and manages a solar system placed at its customer’s premises (in our example it’s a residential complex). The body corporate generates cheaper electricity, while the service provider does the rest. Simply put, it’s all about generating cleaner energy for the complexes own consumption and paying for what’s used. No need to buy the solar system.

With electricity prices having risen by as much as 390% since 2008, not only is it a great way to green your complex but it’s also saving money from day one.

“It is now possible to access clean energy, generated at your complex, cheaper than your municipality can deliver it to your plug point. This has huge change,” says Pienaar.

“How much can be saved?”

South African residential complexes can expect to save on average R30,000 per year that goes directly to your body corporate. But it really does matter what municipality you live in and how big your complex is.


Staff writer


  1. How do you size your system? Residential consumption during the day is almost as good as nothing. The bulk of the electricity is used after 18h00. A residential grid tied system doesn’t make sense as long as there is no FIT.

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