CoCT and Feed-in Tariff

Just in from CoCT:


2 MARCH 2021


Tariff encourages customers to feed excess power into grid

The City of Cape Town welcomes the implementation of the feed-in tariff for all small-scale embedded generation systems (SSEG), for existing and new solar photovoltaic systems (PV). This now also includes a sweetener of 25c per kWh that customers with these power generators are able to receive when they feed their excess power into the electricity grid. The City’s feed-in tariff is one of the highest in the country to encourage the feed in of excess electricity into the City’s grid. The City believes the incentive is vital to boost the uptake of SSEGs and to help Cape Town move increasingly towards renewable energy. Read more below:

The feed-in tariff, including the new additional 25c per kWh incentive will be valid until 30 June 2022.

‘We are moving in the right direction and towards the future the City is aiming to enable: one that has more diversity and security of supply from renewable, cleaner and more affordable energy sources.

‘The feed-in tariff works when customers are net consumers of electricity over a rolling 12-month period. They must therefore consume more electricity from the network than what they put back in over the course of a year. The feed-in tariff offsets their electricity bill and, while they will never receive money from the City, the excess power that is generated back into the City’s grid, will be used to balance out their month’s bill.

‘Importantly, to determine whether a system is grid-tied, meaning if it is connected to the grid and can feed in excess electricity, or whether a system is off-grid, meaning it is electrically completely isolated from the grid, all solar PV systems must be registered. Registration is also a safety and legal requirement and tells the City where a system is connected and confirms the quality of the installation. This reduces the risk of staff and contractors being electrocuted when working on the network,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change, Councillor Phindile Maxiti.

Feed in tariffs

· Residential SSEG 1 feed in tariff is 73,87c/kWh

· Residential SSEG 2 feed in tariff is 73,24c/kWh

Both of the above excludes the incentive (25c/kWh) and VAT (where applicable).

From 1 July 2021, the feed in tariff will be the same for both tariffs.

Why register all systems, even those that are not connected to the network?

· To understand whether a system is grid-tied or off-grid, all solar PV systems must be registered so that the City can confirm if the system is connected to the grid and so that off-grid systems are not mistaken for unauthorised grid-tied systems.

· Many solar PV systems that claim to be off-grid are not electrically separate from the property’s wiring and are therefore not technically off-grid. To qualify as off-grid, a solar PV system must be completely electrically separate from a property’s wiring; for example, a pool pump that is powered by a solar PV system only.

· Certain other configurations of PV systems can also qualify as off-grid; for example, if a changeover switch is installed so that the property uses only electricity from the PV system, or only from the City’s grid, but never both at the same time.

· Solar Water Heaters (SWHs) that use the sun’s thermal energy to heat water directly are not considered electricity generators and do not need to be registered. Nevertheless, solar PV panels that are directly connected to a hot water geyser element will need to be registered (as do all solar PV panels irrespective of their use) to confirm that the system is an off-grid PV system and is not mistaken for a grid-tied system.

Should a residential SSEG customer not wish to feed excess energy into the grid, they may stay on the Home User or Domestic Tariff provided that a reverse-flow blocking device is installed. The requirement to be a net consumer, consuming more than you export, is in place to meet the ‘own use’ legal requirement, failing which a generation licence is required.

Enforcement of unregistered systems are done in accordance with the City’s Electricity Supply By-Law.

For more information, please visit


Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Councillor Phindile Maxiti, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change: Cell: 083 726 9414, Email: (please always copy


So waneer julle Capies nou kan terugvoer in die netwerk in, is dit 98 sent per Kw eenheid wat van julle rekeninge afgtrek word? Die tarrief plus die 25 sent?

Dit klink nie te sleg nie. Nou moet die meters terugvoer net kan toelaat.

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Hou vas … ek wil net eers kyk wat KOS die per maand, is dit nog die R250+ EN R12k meter wat mens moet install?
En dan nog die NET gebruik … die wet is nog teen ons.

MAAR, lyk my CoCT is besig om te “prep” om Eskom af te sny … so hulle al hoelankal wou …

The only real problem that I have with this is the fact that you still need to be a net consumer and can’t feed back more than you consume. They are referring to ‘own use’ and not someone that needs a ‘generation license’ which I guess is another Nersa / National hurdle.

But I guess it should work out fine for someone with a PV inverter and no batteries or only having batteries for grid outages. In these cases I guess you can be a net user.

But yes. It also depends on the fees and how much the meter will cost.

There’s a tariff schedule here which includes the incentive, so I guess that’s correct and from what I can tell you have the following:

SSEG2 (registered 1 July 2019 onwards)

  • R260.31 connection fee per month
  • 211.52c/kWh consumed for the first 600 kWh
  • 84.23c/kWh credit for what you export to the grid
  • 28.75c/kWh incentive credit on top of the above for the first year

Then there’s also a difference between a Domestic and a Home User which I guess is pre-paid vs post paid:


  • 240.06c/kWh consumed for the first 600 kWh

Home User:

  • R171.21 monthly Network access and Administration charge
  • 211.52c/kWh consumed for the first 600 kWh
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This off-course now opens up a whole new can of worms for me …

  1. Have 4.2kw, need to add more panels …
  2. But the inverters must be limited to a max of 3.5kw when grid tied …

So if you are running at max 3.5kw most of the day AND you use the spare power to recharge the batteries daytime, where does one draw the line ito array/battery bank sizing? :laughing:

You have to install a new meter that allows separate accounting for import/export. The meter cost is for your own bill, and is somewhere around 12k-15k.

Only the first year? Pfffft. That’s like insurance companies making the first year cheaper to get customers. I resent being “handled” like that.

Domestic is the “old” tariff that had no connection fee. Some people are still on that. Home user is the new one on which they put all new people, or anyone with a house that exceeds a certain value. On this tariff there is a connection fee (it’s around R180 a month these days), but the per-unit cost for the first 600kWh is somewhat cheaper than it is on Domestic to account for this. The cost for the first 600kWh on either tariff is pretty close to the same. Likely on purpose: CoCT wants to move people away from the flat-fee structure to a split-fee structure so the grid connection is billed separately.

I don’t know if we’re just overcomplicating it for ourselves or not. Heck, I’m not even in Cpt and breaking my brain on this. But I’m hoping other cities will eventually catch on and I was born down there, so I have a soft spot in my heart for you lot.

The main thing is that you need to be a net consumer over a rolling 12 month period. So you’ll always have a shortfall because of the low % credit which you also need to use to offset the connection fee.

Thanks, I wasn’t sure and just assumed that’s prepaid vs postpaid, that changes the math below, but your comment came in just in time.

It is still a balance though. Because if you normally only use let’s say 100 kWh per month from the grid to offset your PV shortfall (and then feed back 100 kWh on SSEG) then it looks like this:


  • R260.31 connection fee
  • R211.52 consumption
  • -R84.23 export credit
  • -R28.75 incentive credit

You then sit with a R358.85 bill and R387.60 after the incentive falls away

Home user:

  • R171.21 connection fee
  • R211.52 consumption

That leaves you with a R382.73 bill.

If you are a heavy user and still take another 200 kWh from the grid each month (and manage to export that same 200 kWh) then you end up with a R457.39 SSEG bill vs a R594.25 home user bill.

From my quick spreadsheet that I made, because I’m really procrastinating today you start paying less from 80 kWh upwards, but then you also need to export the same amount. But without the 1 year incentive then it becomes less from 105 kWh upwards.

If you are using more than 105 kWh from the grid each month and you are able to export the same amount then it might be worth it, BUT you still need to figure in the 12k - 15k for the meter that you need to put in.

We’ve got a new security company looking to break into the area, so they are obviously offering you less than half of what you’re currently paying, but then the fine print has the ‘first year’ sentence in where after you’ll end up paying more than what you’re currently paying.

Aaah yes. The other thing they do is give you an alarm very cheaply. But if you look carefully at the fine print: It is a rented system, and you never pay it off. That makes it impossible to move to a competitor without installing a new alarm system… or going for another rental.

At my previous house I actually did just that. I told ADT to come take their old system, and then I spent 7k to install a new one… just so that I would never have that problem again.

The deck, my gut tells me, is stills stacked against us.

And then the balancing of panels, batteries AND the max limit of 3.5kw inverter power … one needs to be quite sharp on the numbers … with the deck still stacked against us.

Yeah, on that point, one needs a functioning munic to get there … and no bloody bribes either!

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On my own system, my aim is for the PV to eliminate the consumption above 600kWh. Way back when I did the math, it simply didn’t make sense to spend more money on PV generation because the block below 600kWh was simply too cheap. If there is a power failure, I can live comfortably with 80% of my stuff still working. Since a rather large block of this 600kWh still falls in daylight hours, I have a long ways to go before feeding in will make any sense to me. I’ll rather take R2.11 savings over a R1.13 discount :slight_smile:


Plus 1 one that Plonk!

During summer, i have cut down my grid usage down to around 20 kWh per month, have a 4.3 kWp array (on three phase grid supply ) and two Pylontech 2000’s, so can’t see feeding back being a winning preposition at all for me, winter won’t have aircon/pool pump usage much, so still be the same.

This was my goal as well. I do not want to go fully off grid. The math for that just does not make sense.
I just wanted some cost saving for paying off to have a big UPS for the house. :smiley:
20-25% still on utility for about R250pm.

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Rough calculation, using 5 years ROI, bi-directional meter R11,600 vat inclusive ( from CoCT ), additional R80 per month fixed surcharge, comes out to just under 10 kWh per day needing to be fed in everyday besides your self consumption, to break even


Good luck doing that in winter :see_no_evil:
Essentially means needing about 15 - 20kwh surplus in summer months to come out ahead over the year.
I have a large system (could do 55kwh in a day if conditions were perfect) and I’d struggle to do that.

exactly my conclusion also, so unless the bi-directional meter is free, it is not worth it

And there it starts, ja?

And there it comes out …
It said many skilled engineers left the company over the past few years and that uncertainty surrounding the company has resulted in a significant deterioration of staff morale.

Such a nice idea, but how will they manage something like that? Lets just think about power during the night for example?

I guess the people that knows way way way more than me, already thought about all of this.

There’s not a lot of information in the article, but my guess would be that these municipalities will start generating and/or buying their own electricity from IPP’s and thus be less dependent on Eskom, but not disconnecting from Eskom (yet).

It’ll most likely end up similar to the City of Cape Town where they will be 1 or 2 load shedding levels below Eskom, but at the same level overnight.

Unless there’s a new non-Eskom coal powered station going up I doubt there will be enough electricity generated from IPP’s to cover evening demand from the non-PV options just yet.