Households can be “immune” to pressure loss, to rising electricity prices: here’s how

Households can save on electricity costs if at least 90% of their energy needs are met with solar photovoltaic installations and batteries, says an industry expert.

Households can save on electricity costs if at least 90% of their energy needs are met with solar photovoltaic installations and batteries, says an industry expert.

  • According to an industry expert, load shedding and the price of electricity are expected to rise significantly over the next five years.
  • But if households and businesses install photovoltaic solar panels and battery storage systems, they could even save money.
  • Hohm Energy’s calculations suggest that a household that generally spends R1 500 per month on electricity from Eskom could reduce it to R300 if most of their energy needs are met by a solar photovoltaic and battery system.

According to an industry expert, households and businesses can beat load shedding and save money if they install solar photovoltaic systems and battery storage systems.

During a media panel discussion on South Africa’s energy future, Matthew Cruise of Hohm Energy, an online solar marketplace, showed how consumers can make money if they make sure 90% of their electricity needs are met by solar photovoltaic systems and batteries. .

Cruise previously served as an advisor to Eskom’s board of directors and executive management. He also completed an MBA, which included a dissertation on Eskom.

Both load shedding and electricity prices are expected to double over the next five years. Already Eskom and the municipalities are getting higher increases than inflation.

Eskom had sought a 20.5% increase for the financial year 2022/23, but the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) granted him an increase of 9.61%.

Nersa has also proposed an increase in the municipal rate of 7.47%, from 1 July 2022. However, the the regulator decided to hold public hearings on the proposal due to the backlash.

If the proposed municipal tariffs were implemented, electricity prices would rise by 17% overall, Cruise said. Moving forward, Cruise sees no increases of less than 15% year-on-year. Compound growth translates to 104% in five years (more than double). So paying R2 000 for electricity per month would currently translate to R4 000 per month five years from now. This is without considering the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on the price of energy sources such as diesel and coal, Cruise said.

Also, we are experiencing a power generation capacity problem. Nearly 8,000 MW of coal generation capacity will go offline by 2025. However, the incoming generation capacity is too small to meet the peak demand of 32,000 MW, Cruise explained. This will require greater load shedding.

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Cruise proposed that homeowners could become “immune” to pressure drop and price increases by getting grid-connected solar installations and batteries. So most or about 80% to 90% of their energy needs will be met by the installed systems and, as they are still connected to the grid, Eskom can meet the residual energy needs, in particular by providing energy to recharge the batteries, especially in the cloudy days.

With Eskom accounting for only 10% of electricity needs, utility tariff increases will be less painful to digest in five years, Cruise explained.

Giving an analysis of the components of the system, Cruise explained that the most expensive part is the battery, followed by the photovoltaic solar panels. An inverter is needed to regulate the flow of energy from the photovoltaic solar panels to the battery and to the rest of the house. Overall the cost would be close to R180 000.

But you can set up a system piece by piece, Cruise compared it to building Lego.

You can start with a battery installation and inverter as a backup for when load shedding occurs and then add photovoltaic solar panels at a later stage.

A failure of the solar photovoltaic system and battery ins

A failure of the solar photovoltaic system and battery installation.

Hohm energy provided

As an illustration, households that spend less than R1 500 per month on electricity can start with a small system: solar PV that provides 3.6 kW of peak power, along with a 3.6 kW inverter and a 2.8 kWh storage battery. This system could cover ~ R1 200 of a homeowner’s energy needs (given that Eskom’s rates are R2.50 / kWh). This means you should pay around R300 to Eskom.

This system would cost around R120 000 if you paid in cash. But you could fund it through your bond, at the additional cost of ~ R1 400 per month.

Homeowners and businesses can save on electricity costs if they opt for solar photovoltaic and battery installations.

Supplied by Hohm Energy

Hohm Energy’s calculations indicate that for a home that spends R2 000 to R2 500 per month on electricity, it could get a larger system with a 6.37 kWp solar photovoltaic system, a 5 kW inverter and a battery. from 10 kWh. The cash price is less than R200 000, but if financed through your bond it could translate into R2 376 per month. However, it would save you R2 150 in electricity costs from Eskom.

But Cruise noted that these are calculations made before the July price hikes. Even in the event of an increase, families will be able to save. “It’s much better to do something and be active to take control of your electricity needs,” she said.