A step-by-step guide on how to exit Eskom’s network – including cost

Many people are looking for backup power solutions for their homes and businesses to help them overcome unpredictable and productivity-damaging power outages from Eskom and are also fed up with the skyrocketing electricity costs that Eskom cannot provide reliably or affordably, says off-grid energy specialist Teresa Settas of The One Energy Group.

“The alarming state of municipalities should also be of great concern, with collapsing infrastructure, non-existent service delivery and rampant cable theft leaving you without power for long periods of time, compromising your productivity, safety, security, your income and your quality of life,” Settas said.

It’s crucial to consider where the country’s energy future is headed and what that means for your home and business, she said.

“Any money spent today on an unsuitable backup solution is undermining your ultimate goal of network independence and self-sufficiency. out-of-the-box shippers that offer no in-country backup or support, let alone warranties on their products.”

Start with a scalable, quality solar PV hybrid solution that supports your immediate backup power needs during load shedding and blackouts and allows you to transition to self-generation in the future by adding solar panels and extra batteries if needed, Settas said. .

Although you can start initially with your hybrid system configured as a backup solution – inverter and battery only – if your budget allows, you can expand with solar panels to generate your own power, provide backup and save you a fortune. in fresh electricity.

Settas noted that not all inverters offer this scalable feature.

HHow to start your journey to greater network independence step by step

  • Step 1: Convert your electric geyser to a solar geyser

An electric geyser accounts for 30-40% of your monthly electricity consumption in a typical middle-income home, so it’s the most crucial starting point for reducing your daily electric load, which means you can also buy a smaller and more affordable PV solution. .

A 200 liter solar geyser, fully installed is around R27,000. On a R2,500 electricity bill, you’ll save around R750 per month, paying for your expenses in just over three years without taking into account annual increases in electricity costs.

  • Step 2: Start with an expandable Li-ion battery and inverter hybrid solution

According to One Energy Group, depending on your budget, you can add additional solar panels and li-ion batteries to provide you with a complete hybrid system for self-generation, electricity saving and battery backup. For the purposes of this illustrative exercise, he used a Sunsynk inverter configuration – however, there are also other quality hybrid inverter solutions available, he said.

“Don’t be fooled by cheap inverters and outdated lead-acid battery technology and installations, because these entry-level products just don’t offer that scalability or reliability,” Settas said.

Option 1:

  • Sunsynk 5kW inverter and Batterich 3.6kWh li-ion battery initially configured as a UPS configuration – this means it will provide backup for your essential loads (which we distribute to your DB board) only during load shedding and power outages. The starting cost is around R71,000 including professional installation and all required electrical protection and a COC.
  • If you need a bigger inverter, go for a Sunsynk 8kW hybrid inverter and 7.2kWh Batterich li-ion battery. Initially configured as a UPS configuration. Expandable with additional solar panels and batteries. From R112,000.

Option 2:

  • Sunsynk 5kW inverter with 7.2kWh Batterich li-ion batteries and a 2.7kW solar generator. Starting cost is around R123k including professional installation and all electrical protection and COC required. It is a fully hybrid system that allows self-generation (electricity savings) and battery backup.
  • Sunsynk 8kW hybrid inverter, Batterich 10.8kWh li-ion battery and 4.5kW solar panel. Complete hybrid system for self-generation, electricity saving and battery backup. From R185,000.

Option 3:

  • Sunsynk 5kW hybrid inverter, Batterich 10.8kWh li-ion battery and 5.4kW solar panel. Starting cost is R182k including professional installation and all electrical protection and COC required.
  • Sunsynk 8 kW hybrid inverter, Batterich 14.4 kWh li-ion battery and 8.1 kW solar panel. Complete hybrid system for self-generation, electricity saving and battery backup. From R257,000.

Thanks to advances in solar technology and pricing, you can cover your electricity costs for the next 20-25 years and secure your supply at less than 50% of the current prices Eskom can supply, by making smart decisions. ‘smart investment today,’ Settas said.

“Avoid at all costs quick and cheap solutions sold by passersby who promise you the world with an R10,000 inverter – if it was that simple and able to get you off the grid, everyone would have done it a long time ago. ”

Settas said many unqualified flyover nights have emerged with even more questionable technology offerings and substandard installation quality.

These are just a few of the important considerations that One Energy suggests you take into account:

  • NRS-097 regulation specify which inverters are allowed to be connected to the network. When NRS regulations are enforced nationwide, an unapproved inverter will essentially be an illegal, non-compliant connection.
  • Security and compliance are key – You connect a rooftop power plant to your most valuable asset – your home or business – so you don’t want to go wrong. Remember that a non-compliant system has significant implications for your insurance.
  • Every component in your system must be compatible – not all inverters are compatible with all batteries, not all inverters can be supplemented with solar panels, and in fact even different brands of electricity meters can prove problematic.
  • Do your homework – One Energy has been called upon to help on countless occasions where consumers have been left behind by dodgy contractors who are no longer there to support their systems.
  • Membership in an industry professional body – Check if your supplier is registered and current member of professional industry bodies such as SAPVIA.
  • Insurance – Do they have the required professional insurances such as general and contractors liability and goods in transit coverage to insure your goods while in storage and in transit to your site?
  • Product quality and certifications – Check that the solar panels comply with IEC standards. Does your inverter comply with the NRS-097 regulations that define which inverters are allowed to be legally connected to the grid? Is your solar geyser SABS approved? Does your installation comply with SANS standards? Will you receive a Greencard PV with your installation?
  • Quality management – Check if your supplier has a CRM system that records the detailed installation and maintenance history of your system from day one, which for you means quality control, warranty management and business continuity consistent.

Read: If your monthly bill from Eskom is R1500, here’s how much it will cost to disconnect from the network

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