Best cities in South Africa for selling extra solar power

Households in Bloemfontein can get the highest electricity credits for excess solar produced among South Africa’s largest cities and towns.

In the last few years, Eskom and several municipalities have started allowing households and businesses to sell their excess electricity back to the grid for credit on their monthly bills.

MyBroadband previously compared the solar feed-in tariffs of the country’s major metros.

Of the three that already offer these tariffs, we found that the City of Cape Town had the most attractive offering when accounting for both tariffs and monthly fixed charges.

It is also the only municipality in major cities that will not only pay users in electricity credits but also give them cash if the value of their fed-in electricity exceeds that of their grid-consumed power.

On the flip side, another investigation showed Cape Town also had the highest electricity prices of 12 major cities in the country.

For a more comprehensive analysis of feed-in tariffs across the country, we added several more cities and large towns in our latest comparison.

The best rates were available from Bloemfontein’s power distributor Centlec, which offers customers a feed-in tariff of R1.62 in the summer (low-demand season) and R2.11 in the winter (high-demand season).

The peak time-of-use and standard winter feed-in rates of certain municipalities and Eskom Direct were higher than Centlec’s winter and summer feed-in tariffs.

However, its minimum feed-in tariff in the summer was around double the minimum of all the other municipalities’ off-peak rates and similar to standard winter tariffs.

It also did not charge additional fixed charges for net metering.

Bloemfontein vs the rest

In the table below, we compared the feed-in tariffs of Bloemfontein with eight other cities in South Africa, ranked from the highest minimum tariff to the lowest.

In cases with more than one tariff plan, the ranking uses the plan with the highest minimum tariff, highlighted in blue.

We have also highlighted the tariffs that compare favourably to Bloemfontein’s tariffs in green, while additional monthly charges that exceed normal capacity charges by more than R100 have been marked in red.

The fixed charges can sometimes be significant enough to make it much more difficult to earn enough credit to fully offset the cost of grid consumption.

For example, while Durban has the second-best minimum feed-in tariff, its R127 fixed charge for every kVA of inverter capacity means that many of its users will be paying over R600 extra per month just to feed in electricity.

Making up for this cost will require generating 441kWh of excess solar, which is only possible with a sizeable system.

Feed-in tariffs compared
City Tariff option Feed-in tariff per kWh (including VAT) Additional monthly charges Credit only/Cash payout
Bloemfontein Elecflex 3 All Summer hours: R1.63
All Winter hours: R2.11
No additional fixed charges Credit only
Durban Residential Scale 3 & 4 R1.44  R127 per kVA inverter capacity Credit only
Cape Town Home User R1.29 Same as the network capacity charge
R5.66 AMI Administration fee
Cash payout if credits exceed consumption
Home User Time-of-use Winter — Off-peak: R0.82
Winter — Standard: R1.65
Winter — Peak: R5.82
Summer — Off-peak: R0.69
Summer —  Standard: R1.18
Summer — Peak: R1.70
East London SSEG tariff R1.26 R267.73 additional Basic Charge Credit only
Ekurhuleni (East Rand) Tariff B Residential R1.21 Same as regular prepaid or conventional customers. Credit only
Johannesburg* TBC R1.02 TBC Credit only
Pretoria Residential R0.81 No additional fixed charges Credit only
Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) Time-of-use Winter— Off-peak: R0.90 R56.60 SSEG Support Charge Credit only
Winter— Standard: R1.55
Winter— Peak: R4.84
Summer — Off-peak: R0.80
Summer —  Standard: R1.18
Summer — Peak: R1.66
George Time-of-use Winter — Off-peak: R0.91 R131.96 additional Basic Charge Credit only
Winter — Standard: R1.68
Winter — Peak: R5.54
Summer — Off-peak: R0.79
Summer —  Standard: R1.24
Summer — Peak: R1.81
*The City of Joburg is yet to implement its feed-in tariff since first announcing the scheme in mid-2023. 

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Best cities in South Africa for selling extra solar power