SSEG Applications on new house plans - ( not build yet)

So I am an Architectural professional (22years experience) with Solar experience for the last 8 years, of which Ive been in the Solar suplly business for most of that 8 years. Since 2012 Ive been specifying Solar grid tied/grid with battery back-up on plans. All went well untill SSEG applications came into play. I found that none of the municipalities in Limpopo/Gauteng/Mpumalanga area paid much attention to what needed to be done. It was a blessing and relief in most instances but also a worry in that most municipalities did not seem to care or understand the purpose of these registrations nor the dangers of not taking this into account. However I specified and designed systems to compliment my designs as well as owner needs and have been doing this for many years, as it is required for a architectural professional to be up to date and to apply energy efficiency principales actively on all designs & plans - which does not take Solar into account as a deemed to satisfy minimum requirement, but that sees solar as a" best practice" solution like it should be.

This was the case all this time till I moved to the Garden Route Mosselbay area and expanded my business this side. I was really surprised to see how ridged and without common knowledge or common sense the SSEG application was forced upon people in the area. They really took it seriously this side and implemented the application blindly and strictly without any real lenience to individual circumstance.
To explain as example I will give the following Scenario:
My Clients house was designed to be energy efficient - thus I specified by the book - the correct insulation in the roofs - the correct insulation values in the walls, floors, and electrical plans - but fenestration (windows and doors) was going to push clients budget thru the roof - example - normal tinted glass quote amounted to R 280 000. If my client installed double glazed glass as required by SANS 10400 Part XA ed 2, he would have paid R 540 000, for same installation but more energy efficient glass. My recommendation was to install a Solar battery back-up system for R 200 000, which would have cut his electricity costs by 80%, and would make him comply to energy efficiency automatically. (obviously more detailed explaining required but my fingers are getting tired).

So point is, when I submitted these plans to Municipality Mosselbay, it was smooth runnings until they requested an SSEG application as part of the approval of the plan process - due to me specifying Solar on the plan. Now this is where the fun starts, because if you have knowledge of these applications, you should know that they require the serial numbers and model numbers of the proposed(installed ) inverter, aswell as the credentials and qualifications of the installer and AC electrician ECSA registration NR. Also a line diagram indicating your proposed solution wiring diagram - connection crossover to the grid etc. All of this when submitting a plan for approval on a new house - yet to be build.

So the problem comes in -

  1. Who on earth buys a solar system before building their house (there will be those 3% - like dudes taking their old stuff with to their new possie - but that in general counts for EAST - RAND dudes only, and certain lawyers)
  2. Who appoints an AC Electrician before having a plan approved??
  3. What Solar professional will fill in a SSEG application that will only be valid probs 5 months down the line, go thru the effort, take responsibility - draw line diagram etc, knowing that in a few months the owner will probably kick him in the bum hole and go for a cheaper quote, or, just plainly forget he ever approached him to waste his non refundable time in filling out this overweight package of forms with info not at all practically applicable yet.


Its been 3 plans submitted and 3 strikes. Today I removed the solar specied from my plans, removed my energy calculations and replaced it with the bloody expensive glass - just to be able to get the plan approved. My opinion is that these rules the municipalities are applying in this manner, is totally against the purpose of the documents, and the fl;ow of progress. I mean what kind of rule stops you from implementing a national - no international goal more than this. I submitted a Energy efficient House, and now are getting approved an expensive house without any solar back-up due to these small oversights in their forms.

I do believe that these applications should be applied only when client applies for occupancy - thus post installation, or else they should revise the application for new installations on new houses into a 2- part application - basically a pre registration, and then a final sign off, or something similar - any thoughts or suggestions, because I am going to take on the municipality here in Mosselbay to try and get this more acceptable to the public and practically relevant and applicable.

Note: Edited slightly by moderator for readability.

1 Like

Holy smokes!

Wonder if there is a boss of the minuc boss …

If the DA is in charge there still, take it to them, quoting what CPT does here in such a case.
What do architects do there in the same case?
Who can you speak to here that has influence over there?

It al stems from CPT, the implementing.

Go outside the box in other words.

Going to sit down with electrical dept today for the second time - been thru this allready, but will go there till they realise its a serious problem

I don’t know the specifics of this, but I don’t think you need the serial numbers beforehand.

It is a two-part application. First you apply for permission to install. That form is here, for Cape Town. That’s the first 3 pages of that document, and you only need to say WHAT you intend to install, no serial numbers required at this point. Then you get approval based on the info you provided.

Then after installing, it is commissioned. That’s where the second half comes in, the commissioning report, and that’s when you need the serial numbers.

Something about this is very backwards, certainly not how it is done in Cape Town (where all this started).

In the installs I’ve been involved with here in CoCT land I gave very little detail up front and the systems were approved for installation. I specified that it would be a grid-tied system and also gave them the model number of the inverter to be installed. The line diagram I gave them had almost no detail on it: I did not specify the size of the battery, nor any details on the solar panels (not even the total capacity). On the form I put myself down as the installer (being a DIY job) and I put “T.B.A.” under the engineer’s details.

I got the sense that all they looked at in the initial application process was (a) whether it is a grid-tied install and if it is, (b) whether the inverter is on their list.

Of course, I still needed an electrician to check my work and issue the CoC, and an engineer still had to sign off on it before I could get final approval to switch it on.

Perhaps you can specify “recommended” details for the SSEG installation when you submit the plans, and if the owner is not happy he/she can amend the submission after the fact?

@Zinnia….how did meeting go?

Hi meeting went well - got them to remove the ECSA requirment, after a long discussion on what the law actually said - which comes down to installation must be done by registered Electrical contractor - and that was it - the rest of the system still need to be revised on theri side to accomodate new building applications. However the gent did admit that their was a few flaws in the application they needed to adress.