Backup power solutions have become a vital part of South Africans’ lives as they try to circumnavigate the challenges of load-shedding.
However, a complete system with an inverter, batteries, and solar panels has traditionally been an expensive commodity only accessible to the wealthiest South Africans.
In recent years, though, technological advances and the high demand for power backups have decreased prices significantly and reduced the barrier to access.
Further reducing the barrier to entry is the increased availability of solar power financing plans.
We contacted some of South Africa’s top backup energy solution providers to understand how these financing solutions make solar power more affordable.
SolarAdvice acknowledged that many South Africans do not have the reserves to pay for a backup solar power kit in cash.
Solar financing, then, significantly lowers the barrier to access, enabling more South Africans to escape load-shedding without incurring a substantial financial hit.
“It is most definitely a positive and viable route for those who do not have the extra funds needed to buy solar equipment outright,” said SolarAdvice.
SolarAdvice also explained how its solar financing offering works and how much South Africans need to earn to afford it.
The company has an online solar power kit builder that enables buyers to determine the correct size inverter and battery bank, as well as the correct number of solar panels, based on their average monthly electricity bill.
This system then creates a quote for the user, which they can use in their finance application to one of SolarAdvice’s third-party financing partner.
The company explained that for South Africans to be considered for a finance deal, they must meet several basic requirements, including having a minimum gross salary of R40,000 per month.
“Financing offers a method for South Africans to receive a solar system and immunity from load-shedding without affecting their monthly budgeting too negatively,” said Hohm Energy’s Head of Business Intelligence and Public Relations, Matthew Cruise.
He explained that Hohm Energy offers businesses in the commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors a range of financing solutions.
- Cash purchase
- Financing that works the same way vehicle financing works
- Rent to own
- Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)
- Blended finance options that include a grant application (in certain industries)
Each of these options offers a unique advantage, and Cruise explained that Hohm Energy will guide business owners through the options to ensure they get the best package for their needs.
“It is a myth that solar and backup solutions are prohibitively expensive,” said Ellies COO Zeyn Agjee.
Agjee explained that modular hybrid systems comprising a 5kW inverter with battery backup are available from R35,000.
When buying such a system, it is important to ensure it is modular, as it allows homeowners to get a system to take care of their immediate needs without breaking the bank.
Then, as their needs or budget grow, they can expand their system thanks to its modular design.
Agjee explained that Ellies offers a wide range of affordable, adaptable, and scalable products so that you can start small and grow your system over time, making it more affordable.