Capetonians with domestic solar power systems must register them before February 28 2019 or face paying a hefty service fee enforced by the City.
Over the past few years, Cape Town has seen a huge increase in the number of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. This has sparked concern from the City as solar systems pose safety and legal risks if not installed correctly. Due to this the City is enforcing the registration of all small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) systems, which includes rooftop solar PV systems.
Residents with existing solar installations have until February 28 2019, after which they will be liable for a service fee for the removal of the SSEG connection. This is in line with the City’s legal obligation to ensure that all customers comply with set standards. In order to ensure this, all generation equipment connected to the City’s network must be authorised by the City’s electricity department.
Unauthorised PV systems can interfere with the quality of electricity supply, electricity demand management and future network planning. In addition, a SSEG system which has been incorrectly connected to the grid is a fire hazard.
Furthermore, as homeowners are responsible for health and safety at their properties, insurance claims may be jeopardised if unauthorised systems have been in operation on the premises.
As many may not have been aware they are required to register and obtain authorisation for their SSEG, the City is offering a grace period for existing systems to be registered and authorised before the February deadline.
Locals failing to register their solar systems or demonstrate compliance with the by-law will be charged a R6425.90 (around 500 USD) service fee for the removal of the unauthorised systems and face a possible disconnection of the electricity supply to their properties until the removals are complete and the fee is paid.
“The City embraces the uptake of alternative energy as this contributes to creating a cleaner and greener city, and is grateful that so many of our residents are willing to invest in this technology. We are however required to ensure that electricity supply systems comply with relevant standards and do not pose a safety risk. We would like to thank our customers for their cooperation during the registration process,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.
This registration requirement applies to both grid-tied and off-grid solar PV systems. It does not, however, apply to solar water heaters.