Solar Power and Retirement: An investment in your future

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The headlines paint a bleak picture of just how desperate our national power provider has become:

“Eskom has no idea how it will fund wage increases”
“Gordhan: Fuel prices will rock SOEs”
“Rising electricity tariffs: Eskom needs to settle R600 billion debt by 2022”
“Eskom seeks massive tariff hike: report”

There’s only one possible source for the funds that Eskom is seeking … that’s your pockets, and mine.

Market-related (and we stress MARKET related) increases in electricity and other necessities may well be affordable to those still working and earning a salary that increases year-on-year, but when your nest egg has finite limits, you need to be sure that you can afford the cost of living.

There seems to be no end to Eskom’s ever-spiralling tariffs; energy analyst, Ted Blom, makes this dire prediction: “By 2019/20 financial year expect a 30% electricity hike, followed by 50% the following year and 30% the subsequent year. This is a reality.”


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So how does one budget accurately for future expenses in retirement? You invest in a solar system today; you are in control of your system costs, you know ahead of time how long it will take to recover that cost based on your unique energy demands as well as how much you are paying per kilowatt/hour. Retirement should be something we all look forward to, not something we dread, but with the exorbitant cost of living, the thought is daunting. Electricity is the one area where you do have some control over your expenses, by using solar and battery technology. Typical pay-back periods are between 4 and 7 years, whereafter the electricity generated by solar is absolutely free.


Solar as an investment

The current return on investment per annum on R100 000 is around 5.5% for property, 6.89% for SATRIX and around 6.25% in a call account. Now, thanks to Eskom’s devastating price increases, you can invest that same R100 000 in a PV solar system (enough for a 5kW grid-tie) and you’re looking at returns of 40.7%! Simply put, there is no other investment that offers this return plus the security of knowing you will have electricity.

Municipalities are also starting to permit the “feed-in” of surplus electricity that you might generate, thereby giving you a credit on your electricity account. Thus, once you have run all the appliances and possibly topped up the batteries during the day, any additional electricity can be directed back into the power grid. When you start using electricity again in the evening, you will use up the credits you accrued during the day, then use the battery power and, only once that is depleted, revert to using the grid at the normal rates. Hopefully, the solar system will provide adequate energy that you seldom have to use grid power. This is all dependent on the system size and the amount of power you use. Additionally, with such a hybrid system (solar panels plus batteries), you will have an automatic back-up solution for those annoying power outages.


Solar vs Eskom: A comparison over 20 years

The graph below takes a conservative view of the potential savings to be had by investing in a solar system over a 20 year period. In the scenario below, you could realise
savings of R1 921 000!.

We have based these calculations on a grid-tie system (no battery) costing R79 000, which comprises polycrystalline panels, grid-tie inverter(s), cabling, mounting and installation. Assumptions include:
• Eskom agreed rate in 2020 of R3.73 p/w – thereafter 10% per annum escalation.
• Current electricity price of R1.27 for less than 600KWH, and R1.8 above 600Kw hours.
• Normal household consumption of 962KWHours pm
• 6.2 Hours of sunlight per day.
• Excludes VAT


So, where do you start?

To begin the costing process, please fill out the form below and include as many of your electrical bills as you can; a full year’s worth will help us to gain the most accurate understanding of your energy use patterns and energy needs. You can also request an energy audit (cost to be advised) wherein we install a monitor in your home for a defined period to gauge real-time useage.

Save your money, save the planet, control your destiny. Talk to Sinetech today!