Net Metering is coming to SA. How to cash in on excess solar power

by | Feb 8, 2023 | Solar, finance, Inverter

Disclaimer: While Versofy has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of information (at the time of writing) regarding the rollout of Net Metering in the City of Cape Town, please note that the projected dates and currency figures may change at the discretion of the City. Please visit Cape Town Government Website for up-to-date announcements regarding this topic,

Selling your solar power in Cape Town is now an actual reality. A big relief in alleviating the City’s current strain on a grid that cannot take on additional power projects. Calling for a state of emergency to be declared.

Yes! NERSA and The Mother City have agreed to incentivize the public for their surplus energy from the 1st of June 2023, by buying back excess power from solar users. (Source: Business Tech SA – information accurate as at 1st February 2023)

Paid for in cash and by dropping a policy requirement that only enabled municipal bills to be credited in the past, NERSA has agreed to 78.98c/kWh, and the city has raised them another 25c/kWh. So at 79.23c/kWh, Capetonians that switch to solar can bask in the knowledge that they’ll be earning whilst enjoying uninterrupted energy simultaneously.

Another positive development is that customers no longer need to be net consumers. To explain this concept, previously, you could not pump more into the grid than you used, i.e., you always had to owe the power utility money. This limitation has been lifted, which now means that solar systems, such as those at holiday homes or businesses that close over December, are more attractive than ever.

Selling Your Solar Power – First Things First

To qualify, homeowners with installed infrastructure will need to undergo a solar approval process to upgrade to Net Metering Systems – Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) installed by the city.

The city, too, has promised that it will comply with Section 217 of the constitution, which implies that purchasing power should always be fair, transparent, equitable, and cost-effective. As an additional measure to incentivize those generating residential solar energy, it does not foresee lengthy contracts with feed-in customers to do so. Rather a simple pro forma standard agreement that negates the need for more administration.

Starting through a wheeling trial in the second quarter of 2023, Cape Town hopes to identify and iron out any niggles in the system related to technical or billing issues before a mass rollout to all qualifying properties.

Also Read: VERSOFY SOLAR’S JOURNEY FROM POWER TO EMPOWERMENT

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a system that allows homeowners with efficient solar panels to send excess electricity back into the grid whilst receiving credits on their utility bills. This allows homeowners to offset the cost of their electricity use with the electricity they generate, significantly adding value to the home solar systems proposition. 

How does Net Metering work when Selling Your Solar Power?

Bi-directional meters are necessary for the net metering process to work and calculate efficiently, as they allow your utility to track the flow of electricity and issue you credits when selling your solar power.

These smart meters measure the flow of power in both directions. This means that it can measure the extra energy you are sending back into the grid via your new solar system, as well as the proportionately smaller amount of electricity you will now be consuming. Essentially, to top your new solar batteries up with – but with the grid now turning into your backup instead of the other way around. 

To recap this in the simplest terms, these meters run backward, so there is a clear indication of who owes whom at the end of the month. Just like your agreement with SARS each year – but not.   

Also Read: THE 6 STEP GUIDE TO WORKING FROM HOME

The Benefits of Net Metering?

To measure renewable energy sources raised by solar or wind power for example, one of the main benefits of net metering and bi-directional meters is that they directly enable homeowners to generate and track output. Net metering also helps reduce the strain on the existing electricity grid during peak usage times. 

Make no mistake, advanced net metering and other new bi-directional meters are sure to start featuring as soon as selling your solar power is on the uptake. Here too, a new market will emerge.  

This is very beneficial for utility companies, the more, the merrier. It’s a way to incorporate more renewable energy sources into the grid to ensure that our strained grid remains stable. A dire time when all that can plug in, are encouraged to.  

Versofy – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on You

Selling your solar power has great holistic advantages in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and decreasing our carbon footprint. Overall, net metering and bi-directional meters are essential tools that can help promote the use of alternative power sources and should be considered when in a position to help. Both the grid – and you.

The Versofy proposition is to enable a solar finance subscription model that will get you there quicker and more affordably than going all in with cash or a bond from the bank. Expanding your options, affording you output, and now a chance to earn from it.

At Versofy, we view this progressive initiative by the City of Cape Town as a major milestone in the broader switch to renewable energy sources and a further endorsement of the call for South Africans to join the energy revolution. Whether you want to sample the benefits of solar through an entry-level system on a rental basis or are ready to invest smartly in a rent-to-own solar system, powered by a premium Sunynk inverter, Versofy offers a range of plans and payment options to cater to your budget and energy requirements.   

Cape Town hopes to end load-shedding this way, and we are thrilled to see the spirit of other innovations inspire so many positive plans to end the current state of affairs. These changes to our landscape and to our grid are paving the way to a much more sustainable future helping ourselves to the Sun. Switch to Versofy Solar today!

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