Anyone exporting to the grid?

Is there anyone out there (SSEG) who exporting power to the grid? This does not include exporting to a mini grid e.g. a residential complex which distributes their power themselves.

It strikes me that if someone were to answer this question they would then have to kill whoever asked the question…:frowning:

1 Like

Haha! Isn’t it just a bit more trouble than it is worth at the moment?

And not worth the cost. My utilities works out to R250/m-R300/m on Prepaid.
To feed back I need switch to normal billing which has a base cost of R330+ your electricity usage.
Not to mention the cost of the bi-way meter you have to install.

If I did not have a battery then it might be worth while as your “rent battery space” from the utilities, but that does not solve the issue of loadshedding.


And you have to be net-metering over 12 months, bought more than you “stored”.

Costs are not in our favor generating power from our “housies”.

1 Like

Is this the availability charge?
Where is that discussion on the cost of batteries? These also aren’t for free…

It’s the availability charge yes.

Batteries are not for free, correct. But they do give you power during loadshedding. If you don’t have batteries and loadshedding happens then you do not have power, so most would rather pay for their own batteries, than the feedback option.

Depending on your initial outlay, and how long the bank lasts, the time is close, some cases here already, that the kw/h charge for a lithium bank vs Eskom, is the same … so there is that.

I mean, back on PF the sums where getting closer then already for deep cycles banks like Trojan level or better.

And a DIY lithium bank, all we need is the actual cycles. Like for example:
280ah 48v bank - make it 80% use so 225ah at 51.2v = 11.5kwh bank
Cost: ±R41 000

Oh. Math question. I like to procrastinate on these for dayyyyys.

The main thing with SSEG is that you still need to be a net consumer which means that you need to consume more than what you are feeding back (if I remember correctly).

Looking at City of Cape Town as they have it published (using 20/21 tarrifs):

You need to install a new meter which is for your own account. This is roughly 12k - 15k from what was mentioned when we discussed it here.

You then have:

  • Service Charge per month of R260.31
  • Per kWh consumption of R2.1152 for the first 600kWh (R2.9190 > 600kWh)
  • Per kWh refund of R0.8423 for what you feed back

It might not be exact, but let’s say you’re a 20kWh a day user (600kWh a month) and you are running 50% of your loads from solar (300 kWh) and buying 50% from the municipality (300 kWh) as you don’t have batteries and also feed back 300 kWh (although I’d most likely do 250 to play it safe on the net consumer side):

  • R260.31 service charge
  • R634.56 usage (300 kWh x R2.1152)
  • -R252.69 feed in refund (300 kWh x R0.8423)
    = R642.18

Compare that to being a home user without SSEG and PV only:

  • R171.21 network access and administration charge
  • R634.56 usage (300 kWh x R2.1152)
    = R805.77

That means that with SSEG you will end up paying R163.59 per month less than without SSEG, but this excludes the above mentioned 12k - 15k meter which means ~ 73-92 months before the ‘saving’ can be pocketed.

The math obviously changes when the meter is provided by the municipality or cheaper, you have more than 50% solar usage (I chose 50% to accommodate bad days) etc. You then also have no load shedding protection as the grid can only be used as a battery when the grid is available, so you will still be in the dark during load shedding.

Now add R34k for 2x US3000C batteries into the home user tariff and reduce your grid usage to 25.5% (153 kWh) by using 70% of your available battery power daily:

  • R171.21 network access and administration charge
  • R323.6256 usage (153 kWh x R2.1152)
    = R494.8356

So with batteries you’ll end up R310.9344 per month less than without (and R147.3444 cheaper than with SSEG). That is ~109 months if you want to look at a ROI on the batteries alone along with the gift of electricity during load shedding without needing to start a generator etc.

Like I said, the math changes based on your usage etc. and it’s open to interpretation with bad weather (which also affects SSEG returns) and battery capacity fade etc.

I now also looked at a friend’s installation where over the last 30 days they’ve consumed 501.05 kWh with 18% from the grid (90.189kWh), 56% from solar (280.588 kWh) and 26% from batteries (130.273 kWh - ~62% daily DoD) which would mean 44% from the grid (220.462 kWh) should he not have had batteries. For interest’s sake I did the same calculation for him based on his real world data:


  • R260.31 service charge
  • R466.3212 usage (220.462 kWh x R2.1152)
  • -R185.6951 feed in refund (220.462 kWh x R0.8423)
    = R540.9361

Home + PV only:

  • R171.21 network access and administration charge
  • R466.3212 usage (220.462 kWh x R2.1152)
    = R637.5312

Home + Batteries:

  • R171.21 network access and administration charge
  • R190.7677 usage (90.189 kWh x R2.1152)
    = R361.9777

In his case going SSEG would have been R96.5951 per month cheaper than no SSEG or battery storage and the 12k - 15k meter would take ~124 - 156 months before he starts saving.
With batteries he’s R275.5535 a month cheaper than with PV only and he’ll start ‘saving’ after 124 months along with the added benefit of load shedding cover.

Should the meter have been free that would change things, but one also needs to consider that the SSEG refund tariff might not increase proportionally to the price of buying and there’s no guarantee how long the SSEG will be in place seeing how a lot of municipalities / providers worldwide are starting to no longer refund customers for feeding back into the grid.


And if you live in an area where your 2 hour loadshedding slot is every day either at 12:00 to 14:30, or 14:00 to 16:30 then just having PV means you cut your total production significantly when there’s loadshedding.

Thanks for the scenarios. Clearly one’s electricity usage profile will have a major bearing on what the odds are. What hasn’t been mentioned is a daytime operation which would swing the advantage heavily to the SSEG option. Of course this isn’t the full story because with the size of investment if you can build in backup to survive grid outages then that’s a compelling argument.
What does puzzle me still is that I cannot find a single user that exports to the grid…

Given the above I guess no/very few residential users would export!
So probably the answer…

You will find commercial large users where the business model is way better.

Pay his price, accept his quality or do without.

The “man” put you in a position that you had to fend for yourself because he runs a monopoly.
Now, that you have paid the cost of entry, the “man” wants your excess power without paying a fair price because of his monopolistic mindset.

But now monopoly is broken, rightly the “man” has to contend with the natural laws of supply and demand.

Who needs who the most?

If I am on welfare, I wouldn’t get a job that pays less. Indeed, I wouldn’t even get a job that pays R1 an hour more. I would effectively be giving up my time for R1 an hour. Make a reasonable offer and I’ll think about it.

This is the new reality for the “man”. At the present price point, very little trade will occur until the price point increases.
The “man” will resort to some underhanded tactics in the meantime, but will eventually have to face reality.

PS. (You may choose your own “man”, ESKOM, the government, the municipality etc).


Indeed! See their latest sweetner to encourage SSEGs:: CoCT and Feed-in Tariff
Judging by the dirth of these and CoCT’s honorable attempts to encourage this they are going to have to increase the incentive. Watch this space…

CoCT wants to be allowed to buy electricity from more sources than Eskom. Today the Constitution prohibits them to do such, therefore the ongoing court case.

As a matter of fact, I read that they want absolute surety from the Gov, further reasons for the court case, to ensure that if they do make a move, that the gov would not “change their minds” again. even if the Gov have made some moot changes, in my opinion, on SSEG.

Articles are out there, just too much to find them again.

Ontop of this, with The Cape of Storms, CoCT has had extensive consultations over the last two decades on how to do that, from Israel, Germany etc. Very old article I read that in.

1 Like

Boerbok posted this from Australia on the 4x4 Community site:

Interesting thread! I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would have this “problem”. Recently at home I installed a 8.5 kW grid-tied system, without battery, but with export meter. In Victoria Aus I am allowed to export to the grid, but this is limited to 5kW. Rooftop solar is huge in Aus, with about 20% of households country wide with a system.

I will have to change my appliance usage patterns to match the new abundance of electricity during the day… There will be some excess during the sunnier summer months, so I am keeping an eye on this thread for more ideas.

1 Like

Not the constitution. The electricity regulation act of 2007 :slight_smile:

I swear I read, and understood, that it is a constitutional matter … but I will not put my head on a block.

Bottom line, a law must change and that is taking time cause CoCT does not want the Gov to say yes today, and change their minds later when all is said and done, them seeing how well it works for CoCT, ANC, whoops, sorry, Gov losing even more “income” being the sole shareholder of Eskom.

Can you add the link to the thread please :wink:

There you go:

1 Like