What does Solar Cost? – UPDATED

So you’re sick and tired of hearing how Eskom is on the brink of collapse, another spell of load shedding coming up, yet another electricity rate hike, the list goes on…Time to get off the grid and go solar, but can you afford it? Just how much does a solar system cost? 

Luckily for you, we’ve put together some tangible price guides for you to work off of. 

First things first, let’s lay some baseline assumptions for pricing purposes. 

  • Prices are exclusive of VAT
  • Eskom yearly price increase = 15%
  • Sun hours = An annual average of 4.5 hours per day, up to 9 hours in summer.
  • Rent to own period = 60 Months
  • Prices vary massively due to a number of variables (Brand of component, Size of System, Complexity of Installation, etc), the below examples simply act as a guideline. Each individual installation would need to be specifically designed and quoted on. 

Secondly, a quick (over simplified) crash course into how a solar system works

  1. Solar panels, installed on a roof, collect solar energy and convert that energy into DC electricity.
  2. This electricity is then either stored in batteries (most systems), or feed directly into the mains through the use of an inverter.
  3. The invertor converts the DC electricity into AC electricity which is then used to power appliances in the home. 

Lastly, a quick guide to the main types of solar systems and the components that make them up:

Types of Systems

  1. Off the grid – This system works completely independently of the national grid. This system requires batteries to store electricity to be used when excess electricity is being utilised.
  2. Grid interactive / Battery backup / Hybrid System – This system is essentially the same set up as an off grid solution but with a connection to the power grid, this system is the most popular system for residential customers. This system gives you the freedom of being off the grid but you do have a grid connection available. You also do not need to have a big battery bank to get you through days with little or no sunshine.
  3. Grid Tied – This system simply supplements your electricity usage with the use of solar power. There are no batteries in this system and you therefore have no protection against power outages at night time or when there is little or no sun available. This system is more popular amongst commercial clients as they are able to supplement their usage during their peak day time hours and not during the peak residential night time hours.

Components that make up a system:

There are a number of components that make up a solar system. For simplicity we have broken them down into Bigs, Smalls (consumables) and Labour for simplicity. 

  • Inverter
  • Batteries
  • Panels
  • Solar Cable
  • DC Combiner Box
  • Fuse Disconnect
  • Roof Mounting Kit
  • Trunking
  • Installation
  • DB wiring
  • CoC Certificate

Right, let’s get down to the part you have all been waiting for, the cost. To make things easier, we have created 3 systems that cater for a wide range of applications and therefore will act as a great guideline for your requirements. 

We have also added a pricing table at the base of this article to further assist with your pricing requirements. 

Systems Overview

System123
TypeResidential HybridResidential HybridCommercial Grid-Tied
Application

Smaller residential houses (2-3 Bedrooms) consuming approximately 20-30kwh per day

Medium residential houses (3-5 Bedrooms) consuming approximately 30-50kwh per day

Small business or light industrial factory operating from 8am-5pm consuming 80-100kwh per day

Size

1 x 5kva Inverter SunSynk

1 x 5.1kWh Lithium-ion Battery

8 x 455w Panels

1 x 8kva SunSynk Hybrid Inverter

2 x 5.1kWh Lithium-ion Battery

10 x 455w Panels

1 x 17kva SolarEdge Inverter 

46 x 390w panels

Energy Production

18kw

23kw

80kw

Approximate PriceR154 000 inc VATR217 000 inc VATR290 000 inc VAT
Approximate Lease-to-own PriceR3199 pm inc VATR4499 pm inc VATR7200 pm inc VAT
Versofy EquivalentVersofy GrowVersofy Charge 

Pricing Table:

The below example is simply a guideline. As with most things, prices have the ability to vary vastly from brand to brand and installer to installer. We however do believe that this will go a long way to assist you to get an indicative price point for your system.

DescriptionSizeApproximate Price Range
Hybrid Inverter3kvaR17k-R25k
 5kvaR22k-R35k
 8kvaR30k-R45k
Grid-Tie Inverter5kvaR10k-R30k
 8kvaR12k-R40k
 17kvaR16k-R45k
Panels365w-420wR1600-R2500
Batteries (Lithium-Ion)5kWh-11kWhR23k-R80k
Solar Cable6mmR10-R25/meter
Roof Mount Kit R200-R1000/panel depending on type of roof
Trunking R40-R80/meter
Fuse Disconnect R1000-R2000
Installation R10k Upwards
DB Wiring R8k Upwards
CoC Certificate R1k-R5k

So in conclusion

When looking to go solar there are a number of factors to take into account. 

  • What are you trying to achieve with your solar solution?
    • Every household and property needs are different, make sure you understand what your requirements are. Some things to consider:
      • Residential vs commercial?
      • What appliances are you needing to run?
      • How long do you plan to own the property?
      • What are my payback periods?
      • Are you actively trying to reduce your carbon footprint?
  • Make sure you engage with a qualified trusted solar installer, luckily for you are already in the right place for that  😉
People relaxed in a Solar Home
Photo by Urban Solar Solution

At Versofy.com we are incredibly passionate about going green, reducing our carbon footprint and actively looking for ways to utilise clean energy and going solar is certainly a step in the right direction. Now that you have a better understanding of what it will cost, let us help you get started on your journey towards energy independence.

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