Cape Town pays for Domestic Solar Power

Cape Town residents can now register to sell power back to the city | Business (

Suddenly the case for over paneling and NRS compliant equipment is very loud.

These schemes vary a lot depending where you live. In the US and Australia they were generous in what they paid for power that was fed into the grid.
The payment was fixed per kWh for the power exported. As generation became easier this amount became substantial as my pal in California describes:
“Older systems get paid for 10years from installation. New systems get about 1/10 the cost. They claimed it was not fair to pay people more than it costs to generate. Who will pay the difference?”
These were clearly incentives to get people to install PV systems.
However I can’t work out what CoCTs strategy is besides publicity since the incentives aren’t keeping me awake at night. :frowning:
P.S. Californian utilities have now put an end to these schemes.

I don’t like “sideswipes”. That is counterintuitive.

CoCT, it is to buy time. SA has a serious problem ito electricity reliability, it affects businesses, jobs, and society as a whole. When talking ANC then one can use “publicity”, as there is proof, that Cyril a prime candidate for that.

Here is a very good opinion on CoCT.

No sideswipe intended. This is a broadside!

I nearly spilt coffee on my kbd … as I took a sip, I read the reply. We never learn …


IDK. There are lots of stories going around Johannesburg in which City Power come to tell you you haven’t been paying, and then you say “but I have solar”, to which they respond “oh well then, we’re going to cut you off from the grid.”

These may be embellished a bit. It certainly is the case that if you don’t feed your prepaid meter for three straight months then it gets flagged for disconnection (after an investigation).

There is lots of small print around these meters that is never spelled out and so the public are unaware of it. I became aware of the every third month requirement when I caught an Uber one morning, and got a driver whose side hustle is installing pre-paid meters for the City.

Another is that you are not supposed to build up a credit that exceeds an average one month’s use. It used to be the case that the first 500 units in the month were the cheapest (it is now the first 350) and so if you were averaging 400 a month (and I was) then you could buy the cheap 500 and bank 100 (and I did) and after a year you’d have a nice piggy bank full of cheap units (and I did).

Another is that if your meter goes pop (and mine did) and they do a “temporary restoration” (IE they bypass the meter) then there is no carry over of credit when the new meter is installed. But you only had a couple of week’s worth, didn’t you?

I’m sure all of this is on page 79 of a PDF that is downloadable somewhere, but in the real world these rules are quite complex, numerous, and you generally find out the hard way.

Which is a long winded way of saying that

  1. City Power certainly think they can disconnect you when it suits them (which they have to be able to do in the case of illegal connections or non-payment).
  2. Nobody knows or not if it is possible to apply to go off grid.

All the above applies to City Power only. That’s who I deal with.

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Hence, CoCT said everyone will pay a connection fee to their electricity grid.

The grid, the maintenance thereof, is one thing.
The usage of electricity is a separate thing. So going solar, using less electricity, has no impact on the maintenance of the grid.

Then again, the free electricity for the lower income groups … problems a working Munic must figure out.

I’ve often wondered if someone in the IT Dept at CoCT runs an SQL query every now and then… SELECT business_partner_id, SUM(amount) as total from sales where total == 1851.48 AND trdate < ... etc etc ... group by business_partner_id;… to find all those people who buy EXACTLY 600 units a month :slight_smile:

Which is why I buy R1852 worth of electricity just to be funny. And in winter I usually need way more anyway.

Well… If I choose to disconnect now, then what happens?

I want to sell my house and the guy who buys it has to pay up to get everything reconnected?

Or City Power continues to supply a feed to my property, continues to bill me for it, and just the last meter or so isn’t there?

I read some piece of business advise a while back that said that even if you want to disconnect or feel like telling them to take their connection and shove it, do not. Because your house will be very hard to sell in the future.

Thinking about it, whilst there are people who might say they’re in that positon, not many of us are. Neighbours ask me if I’m “off grid” and I say “well nearly, but no:”.

Because realistically two straight overcast days and no grid is probably all I can survive for - and even then it’s no geyser, no microwave, no dishwasher, no pool pump.

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Yes, tough one that.

residents looking to sell back power to the City can now register to do so – until 8 March

The feed-in tariff is 87c/kWh and is approved by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa. Over and above that, the city offers customers an incentive of 25c/kWh.

I was curious about the payback thing (seems like potentially a risky/costly move from the muni side) but I think there is small print that makes many payouts unlikely. The lowish feed-in tarriff plus the following:

I want to specifically today, invite all residential customers in the city, to take advantage of our feed-in tariff by signing up," he said. "These customers can offset their entire municipal account, and if they still rack up a credit, they can get that back in cash
(emphasis my own)

i.e. you do not get back cash once your electricity bill goes negative (rates, taxes etc. must also be “wiped out”).

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And it is here …

More details here:

Snap! :rofl:

Even better - you can offset your rates as well so end up being very well off…

  • Step 4: Electricity fed into the grid will be measured and credited to the customer’s monthly municipal account at 87c/kWh + 25c/kWh incentive. This credit is offset against the customer’s monthly municipal account.

And how much does said bi-direction AMI meter cost the home user?

THAT is what we are waiting to hear, the new one CoCT was speaking of. commissioning, as the existing one, as per CoCT, is way to expensive.

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Hope it comes to a value that makes financial sense to the home user to be able opt in for this.

They have been speaking about this new cheaper meter for months. Nothing has turned up yet.

Just saw this in this article - Step 2 …

RE the meters → the “cheaper” meter should be about R6000

from the news24 article

Hill-Lewis previously said these [OLD/ORIGINAL] specialised meters are costly for residents, at about R12 000…
words in block brackets my own

…But the city has found a model that is more affordable. “We are happy with the technical performance of the meter… we are finalising how it integrates with our system, then it will be available to Capetonians to buy,” said Hill-Lewis…

…Kadri Nassiep, executive director for energy of the city, told News24 that the new model, which is a single-phase meter as opposed to the costlier three-phase meter, should be half the price…

The city has procured the meter and is expecting stock to be delivered soon.