COJ and SSEG registration

I expect this topic might arouse some strong emotions. I understand this.

COJ announced last year (IE they posted a tweet) that registration of rooftop PV systems on residential premises was now required. They have not put a lot of energy into spreading this message, but certainly some legal companies and some estate agents are aware of these regulations. They allow retrospective registration of systems already installed, but going forwards they expect this to happen as systems are installed.

My own POV: I always knew this day would come, and I think that City Power have a legitimate interest in anything connected to their grid that has the ability to feed back into the grid. You may differ. That’s fine. I’m just going to tell my story here because it may provide some information that is useful to others.

My installer contacted me last year with an offer, in conjunction with another company, to do the registration on my behalf, for a fixed fee (see notes further down), with me appointing them proxy and thus not having to stand in queues and speak to municipal engineers who are going to ask about stuff I have no idea about. The fee is five grand.

  • They do not involve themselves in discussions around tariffs. That is between you and the utility (City Power in my case). If you need a new meter then that is between you and the utility.

  • If they find any shortcomings in the system they do not fix anything. They just give you a list and once you have those fixed then they begin the process again.

So the fee they charge is for preparation of drawings, initial inspection, and interacting with the utility on your behalf - but only as regards registration.

They did a site visit here today. The only things that had them mildly tut-tutting
were some labelling issues. In particular (this may be a Jhb thing) there has to be a sticker on the municipal meter box to say that a PV system is installed.

They took lots of photos, including the municipal meter box. This latter is necessary because the meter serial number is part of the information required for registration.

I now have to supply them

  1. A copy of a recent municipal account (so they can find me in the City’s systems)
  2. Approximate total consumption per month
  3. Copies of the COC, which must include details of the PV system.

They will then mail me a letter to sign which appoints them to act as a proxy for me.

Once that is done they estimate two weeks for the municipal side of the process. This is what it was taking before the December holidays, for CITY POWER. Other utilities have different lead times.

The municipal side of the process involves their (the City’s) engineer conducting an inspection.

That’s not unreasonable, especially if they have to do the drawing and the paperwork. For my own system, the bill was R3600 for the engineer, but I had to do my own paperwork :slight_smile:

I asked about pre-paid.

They told me that they have clients whose systems are registered and who remain on prepaid. They believe that at present this is a grey area in the by-laws (we are talking City of Johannesburg and City Power here) and that this matter will be clarified at some point in the future.

Please keep us posted!

It will be interesting to see how this is done or how your question gets answered. Is it just to register your system and carry on with the same tariffs (like our cheap pre-paid) or do you have to move to a different tarrif because you have PV or if this is specifically about feeding / selling back etc. which also moves to a different tariff.

For me, personally, I’m still waiting it out until there’s actually some documentation / form / formal process etc. but I have nothing against registering at the end of the day, but as I can’t really find anything official I’ll wait a bit for you guinea pigs to get through it first :wink: .

I have found a/the tweet, but that refers to the SSEG feed-in program they want to implement to feed back and get paid for it:

Stumbled across this …

From here:

@Robert, after all this time, seems the “chickens are coming home”. :slight_smile:

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This is for Eskom direct though and not City Power / Joburg specific.
I believe their SSEG process has actually been in place for quite some time (no idea about if it’s actually being implemented / requested) as the whole net-consumer thing remains a sticking point.

Goes along with your other post:


I first became aware last year when the new then Major of Tshwane started making statements on SSEG, now CoJ here … Eskom seems more “refined” when you search the web for info … things are quietly happening it seems, all over.

Pure Energy (the company doing all this for me) tell me that they have clients with registered systems who have stayed on pre-paid. The City would like us to go to the reseller’s tariff, but it seems that the necessary regulations are not present at the moment.

Also (at present) that step comes AFTER registration, and (at present) it’s up to you to go to the City and apply for the reseller’s tariff. This is a separate and (at present) voluntary process. You can opt to just not do it (at present).

Whether it stays this way or not is not visible in any crystal balls.

What Pure Energy did tell me is that if you go to City Power and complain that you only drew 4 units but your meter shows 6 used, they will ask you if you have PV, and if you say yes they will tell you that all your problems can be fixed with this bi-directional meter at [some large amount of money]. When you get that meter you do have to go onto the reseller’s tariff, but it’s up to you to resell or not.

All of this is at present, and applies to City Power only.

I would agree that City Power’s publicising of this has been underwhelming, but my reading of the situation is that that ship has sailed. I did some googling and found opinions from legal firms and from estate agents. The latter are mostly telling you to resist the urge to tell City Power to take a hike, take their meter with them, and go off grid. That’s absolutely your right, but the feeling is that off-grid properties are hard to sell.

City Power are not good at spreading the word. There is, for example, a regulation that says that if any one pre-paid meter doesn’t have any vouchers bought for three consecutive months then it is flagged for disconnection. I was told this by (now) two technicians, and I don’t doubt that it is mentioned somewhere in the regulations, but there should be a FAQ type of document that you get given when you request conversion to pre-paid so that you know what you’re getting into.

Another regulation, apparently, prevents the building up of large credits on a pre-paid meter. That’s not what they’re intended for. The idea is that you buy enough to get you through the month.

My meter was recently exchanged because the old one failed and would not allow any power to pass through. I must say that City Power’s response was very fast. The first step was a “temporary restoration”. If you or I do this it is called “bypassing” :smiley: This was done the same day my old meter went pop!

The second step was to replace the meter. This was delayed because stock of single phase meters was low. I had to log a fresh call. Again response time was less than 24 hours (this includes linking the meter to my account and me being able to buy and load a token). But what they didn’t do was carry the balance from one meter to another. Because the old meter had been bypassed.

I pointed out that it was their guy who did it. They said “yes, we know. But we now have no way of knowing how much you used in the interim and so what the real balance is.” I could sort of see their point, and it worth more to me to get the problem sorted out than fight them over the balance for however long that was going to take.

So there’s lots of small print we’re not aware of.

This is the value add for the service I’ve signed up for. They do know all these regulations. It turns out that if it was left to me, I’d have got most of the way, only to be disqualified at the last turn because of a warning label missing from the meter box.

This happened with my old meter, and I’m fairly sure it’s happening with the new one. But it’s a few rand per month, far less than the fixed fees that come with the reseller’s tariff. So City Power are getting a little something for nothing from me, and that costs me, but it costs me less than the alternative. So until such time that some regulatory loop hole is closed, I’m going to stay on pre-paid (buying a little every three months).

These guys do a lot of registering of systems, and all over the country. They mentioned to me COJ, COCT, Tshwane, Ekhuruleni and Eskom as utilities that now require registration. There may be others. I didn’t ask them for a list.

Makes perfect sense. This is down to the little bits of feeding back done with PV systems which in almost all cases get charged as consumption. Slap a bi-directional meter in and it’ll not get counted as consumption, but, like you said, is not worth the cost. I happily pay my couple of cents daily discrepancy between my inverter & meter.

Do you mind putting some links in? I’ve been looking and really can’t find anything official stating that you must register apart from the single tweet with an email for if you want to join the feed-in program to be able to feed back and get paid (and now your installer telling you about it).

I’m assuming the opinions are about going off grid?
In my case I’m just not willing to (voluntarily) register (yet) if there’s no official communication / documented process. Or just a form similar to Cape Town’s (

Just to be clear: I know I’m sounding against it or having a go at you, but that’s not the case at all. I’ve got no problem with registering my installation. I think what CoCT does there is perfect and I’m more than happy to register my installation if I can find information on it, but apart from that single tweet about registering to feed back and get rewarded I can’t find any information on registering with City Power / City of Johannesburg.

One (I’m Feeling Lucky) Google for “register solar cape town” takes you here ( where you get the information, documentation and process.

I got the fright of my life when I read that a couple of months back as I haven’t bought since May (it was November). I also read that you won’t be able to use tokens, so I bought R100 worth and loaded it up without a problem. I have also had City Power out twice to audit the meter, they saw solar and took a picture of the meter to show it’s not bypassed and left. No disconnection. I count myself lucky in that regard and now aim to buy R100 monthly just to keep vending with the meter and also have enough to get through winter.

This makes sense. I guess it’s a case of you can build credits, but if the meter goes your out of luck.

So this morning I signed the letter that appoints the engineer to act as a proxy for me.

Very nice. It gives him all the decision making powers, and retains all responsibility for me.

I remember when I was studying at Technicon (when there was such a thing) and we had to do a year of Business Economics. The lecturer told it is was important to be committed, not just involved.

Then she waited for somebody to ask what the difference was.

Then she said: Think of bacon and eggs. The chicken is involved but the pig is committed.

I think I just committed myself.

Roughly how I feel about property managers. They always tell you they want to be your “partner”. In practice it means they take 10% to 12% of the income (not the profit, if any, the gross income), without accepting any of the liabilities.

OK. So I just signed off on the form that will go to the City. I will try to get a redacted version of the form up here but here (in random order) are some details

  • The application includes the GPS co-ordinates of the site

  • for business/industrial applications they require a site plan that shows locations of the equipment and the connection to the grid

  • You are required to select one of four modes

  1. Energy from PV to be used solely within a consumer’s electricity network and no excess power to be exported to City Power’s Electricity distribution network at any time.
  2. Energy from PV to be used within a consumer’s electricity network and excess power to be exported to City Power’s Electricity distribution network
  3. Energy from PV to be used solely for exporting to City Power’s Electricity distribution network
  4. Any of the above with Energy Storage
  • They want the C rating and capacity of your battery

  • They want details of your panels. Maker. Number. Output per panel. Type (poly or mono). Output voltage. String output.

  • There is a code that describes the earthing arrangements. In my case this is “TN-C-S”

  • Average monthly consumption winter and summer

  • How much you expect to export on week days, Saturdays, Sundays (mine are all zero)

  • A test certificate for the inverter model in use is required

  • A “single line diagram” (I haven’t seen this) is required

  • They want name, address, contact details of the installer.

That’s not everything. As I said, I will try to post a redacted form, though probably this will only be on the weekend.

So this morning I got a call from the engineer who is managing my registration. Next steps are

  1. He is submitting my paperwork today
  2. He will be coming here probably Friday to affix the warning labels that are required (there are two. One of these goes on the municipal meter box)
  3. Then City Power will contact him (because he is acting as my proxy) to make an appointment for my site visit.
  4. The site visit will be concerned with the solar installation. They are not going to go poking around in the DB. There will be some tests.
  5. If City Power are satisified they will give me a registration certificate and they will RECCOMEND that I switch back to the post-paid tariff. This is not mandatory (at this time). They do this because there are cases where pre-paid meters misbehave and people complain about getting billed too much. Apparently this does not happen when the meter is configured for post-paid billing.

This is all for City Power. But I would think that if you have somebody competent and professional advising you, they will walk you through the process that applies wherever you are.

I asked. The guy is happy for me to post his name and number on forums.
Blessing Madyangove
063 720 5325

The company is Pure Energy Solutions

There is no guarantee of costs. He would need to start with a site visit and understand what he is dealing with.

This is NOT meant to cast aspersions on anyone but seeing that this is a public forum we all may benefit.

something to just confirm, as this could have some unforeseen repercussion (also thinking about the insurance thread); I suggest checking (COJ at the least) the requirements - if any - for the registration of the Pr.Eng signing-off the install. Do they need to be registered locally with the ECSA, what category of registration etc.

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Hopefully such questions will be answered when I get the redacted form up. I do know that I can’t sign off, and even after the signed off forms are submitted the City will do their own inspection.

The tests are usually rudimentary. Mostly related to proper earthing, and tripping the main breaker to check that you are islanding and that the inverter on the paperwork is what is actually installed. You’re paying for the guy’s qualification, not so much his time :slight_smile:

When the engineer came to sign mine off (many years ago, the first time, before I moved again), we spent 20 minutes of the half hour talking about what we’re currently doing with our lives… :slight_smile:

Oh goody! So much fun than him just popping in, whipping out a multi-meter, nodding his head and then going off to the net job.

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