Load shedding can be frustrating for any household. As South Africa’s energy crisis continues to linger, many households are considering a switch to solar power to reduce their reliance on Eskom’s power generation plants. If you’re also thinking of buying a solar system, there are a few things you need to know before you commit to making a purchase.
1. Improve your energy efficiency
There are a few changes you can make that can contribute to optimizing your energy usage. These include using LED bulbs, turning off lights when you leave a room, and unplugging electronics that use standby power. If you cook with
electricity, consider switching to a gas hob or oven.
2. Develop a plan
Before you buy a solar system, you should have a plan that covers why you want solar power. Some South Africans simply want solar power so they can have electricity during outages. In that case, you will need batteries and a hybrid inverter. But if your main goal is to save money on energy bills, you might want to increase the solar panels you install so the system will generate more power.
3. Monitor your energy consumption
You need to have an idea of how much energy your home or business consumes so you can determine what size system will meet your needs. A look at your monthly electricity bill should give you an idea of how much electricity you use. A better way to measure energy consumption is by having an energy meter installed so you can track usage on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
4. Consider your budget
When you have established how much energy you use, it’s time to factor in your budget. Some households typically explore financing options for solar power but we recommend you use an access bond if it’s available.
5. Plan an upgrade path with your installer
If you’re unable to pay for the solar power system at a go, take solace in the fact that you’re not alone. The solution is to adopt a phased approach to spread the costs over time. While it’s true that some solar products may become obsolete, you can minimize the risks by working with a reliable installer.
6. Get it installed and signed off
Be sure to do all the paperwork necessary for solar installation. If you plan to still rely on the grid, your installation must be signed off by a professional electrical engineer registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa. You also need to have the system signed by the local authorities.
Buying a solar power system is a great way to fight load shedding but be sure to follow the steps above for a hassle-free installation process. If you’d like to buy a solar power system from a reliable company, click the link to contact Solar Man SA.