Going solar: Which option provides the biggest savings in the long run?

The conversation around alternative power solutions in South Africa has gained significant momentum since 2021. With a plethora of options, from uninterrupted power supply (UPS) devices to inverters and generators, solar power solutions are leading the way as the most sustainable choice. Despite the booming demand, the transition to solar power en masse is slow, largely due to misconceptions and... Read more → The post Going solar: Which option provides the biggest savings in the long run? appeared first on CapeTown ETC.

Going solar: Which option provides the biggest savings in the long run?

The conversation around alternative power solutions in South Africa has gained significant momentum since 2021. With a plethora of options, from uninterrupted power supply (UPS) devices to inverters and generators, solar power solutions are leading the way as the most sustainable choice.

Despite the booming demand, the transition to solar power en masse is slow, largely due to misconceptions and the complexities around financing options.


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According to Dominique dHotman, Head of ooba Solar – a platform that aids consumers with solar installation quotes and financing – most people still view solar power as an expensive luxury.

‘Solar has emerged as the most sustainable solution, but we have yet to see a real, wide-scale shift to off-grid and grid-tied solar power,’ dHotman explains.

He asserts that purchasing a solar system should be a no-brainer now, given the variety of solar financing options available. However, he emphasises the importance of careful financial evaluation before making any commitments.

The true cost of solar ownership

When it comes to financing a solar power system, many people overlook certain costs, notes dHotman. In addition to the financing instalment, there are two other unavoidable costs: Eskom’s standard monthly connection fee and residual usage of Eskom’s power due to factors like low sunlight or increased household consumption.

Understanding your financing options

Asset Finance

  • Pro: You own the system after five years.
  • Con: Higher monthly instalments due to shorter financing terms and a higher interest rate (Prime + 3.5–5%).

Government Energy Bounce Back Scheme

  • Pro: Lower interest rate (Prime +2.0%) and full ownership.
  • Con: Limited time availability.

Home Loan Finance:

  • Pro: Most affordable monthly instalments, often at a discounted interest rate.
  • Con: It takes longer to pay off, up to 30 years.

Escalating Rental Model:

  • Pro: lowest initial monthly costs.
  • Con: Monthly costs increase annually, and the system is not yours at the end of the contract.

Doing the math

To put these options into perspective, dHotman uses the example of a Cape Town household with an average monthly electricity spend of R2 250.

He notes that home loan financing offers upfront savings due to lower monthly instalments. In the long term, asset finance becomes more economical after the five-year payoff period.

In stark contrast, the escalating rental model yields only R9 286 in savings over ten years, significantly less than what you would save with asset finance, home loan finance, or the government scheme. Additionally, the system remains the property of the rental company.

Selecting the appropriate solar financing option can be a daunting task given the range of choices and associated costs. Platforms like ooba Solar aim to simplify this process by offering a variety of quotes tailored to your needs.

‘The benefit of working with a partner like ooba Solar is that we consult our best-in-class solar suppliers to provide you with a range of quotes so that you can choose the option best suited to your budget and needs,’ dHotman concludes.

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Picture: Giorgio Trovato / Unsplash

The post Going solar: Which option provides the biggest savings in the long run? appeared first on CapeTown ETC.


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