GoSolr will help Cape Town residents who want cash for power

  • Cape Town has launched its Cash for Power programme with a laundry list of requirements for customers who want to sell power.
  • Customers in the region can apply for the programme to earn a rebate of R1.12 for every kWh of energy they sell.
  • GoSolr has said it will assist customers when it comes to installing the correct equipment.

Earlier this week the City of Cape Town announced that residential applications for its Cash for Power initiative were open.

Through this initiative, residents generating excess energy through solar power or small-scale embedded generators (SSEG), can sell this power on to the City of Cape Town. There are some stipulations though such as having a City-approved inverter as well as an AMI meter.

If you meet all those requirements, you will be paid R0.87 plus a R0.25 incentive for every kWh of energy fed to the grid. This credit will be offset against a customer’s monthly municipal account and any access after this offset is applied will be paid in cash.

As with all things government-related, City of Cape Town customers will need to ensure that the systems they have installed meet the requirements. Local solar power firm GoSolr has said it will be able to assist customers in that regard.

“GoSolr is committed to providing South Africans with reliable solar solutions that bring more benefits than a reprieve from loadshedding. Sustainability and cost-savings are both at the core of our business offering, providing ease and comfort to each customer. We hope this added revenue-generating offering will go a long way to rewarding them for adopting solar power,” chief executive officer and co-founder at GoSolr, Andrew Middleton said in a statement sent to Hypertext.

GoSolr’s business model tries to make solar power more accessible. This is accomplished through the rental of solar power equipment including panels, inverters, and batteries. Prices start at R1 399 and go all the way up to R4 400 per month. There is also a once-off setup fee where GoSolr installs the system, provides a certificate of compliance and it will even register the installation with the municipality, a key requirement of City of Cape Town’s Cash for Power initiative.

“Ultimately, targeted initiatives like this, geared to supporting the compensation of excess energy fed into the grid, will incentivise the uptake of solar energy systems. They will also lead to a more robust and decentralised energy grid, reducing dependency on centralised power sources and mitigating the impact of load-shedding more broadly,” says Middleton.

However, before you run off and sign-up for GoSolr’s “Extra Large” solar installation you should note that the amount of energy one can sell back to the City of Cape Town is “limited by the size of the system they have been authorised to install, which is limited by the size of their connection to the City grid.”

This means that very few people are going to have excess power that can be sold to the municipality. Even then, the R1.12 that you can make from selling that power is going to make a minor impact on the power a customer is drawing.

It’s important to remember that the small scale solar power systems found in most homes aren’t able to power ovens, geysers and other energy-hungry appliances so even with a solar system you will still likely be using grid power.

As an example. City of Cape Town’s Home User tariff sits at R2.68 per kWh when using less than 600kWh per month. While the rebate from Cash for Power cuts this to R1.56, it will be a while – if ever – that somebody makes money from selling power to the city.

Capetonians that are curious to see if they can at least cut their municipal power bill can apply for the Cash For Power programme here.


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