The Benefits of Switching to Solar
What is the impact of switching to solar energy? Does it prove to have benefits both in the short term and long term? Well, after diving into the solar world, there are actually many ways that solar can positively impact your life.
1. Avoid Loadshedding
As South Africans, we all know what it is like to deal with loadshedding, the rolling blackouts that our country experiences. By switching to solar with batteries, you are lowering the impact that loadshedding has on yourself, anyone else on your solar property and even the whole country as your demand on the grid will be reduced. Having this additional energy source means less frustration and less mental energy spent on planning your life around loadshedding.
2. Save Money
Eskom charges between R1.82 and R3.10 per unit (kWh) of electricity. The average cost per unit from a solar rooftop system in South Africa is now R1.36. This is calculated over the whole 20+ year lifetime of the system and does not include battery storage. A system with a battery will cost more but the price will be locked in while Eskom’s prices will continue to rise every year. Here’s a solar savings example.
3. Eliminate Financial Losses of Loadshedding
Whether you work from home or at an office, having a steady supply of electricity allows you to stay productive all day long. This is also very important to businesses that have machinery that needs to run continuously.
4. Reduce your Carbon Emissions
Solar systems have a net positive impact on the environment because they don’t release carbon or any other greenhouse gasses when producing electricity. While the manufacturing process is not entirely clean the carbon footprint per kWh of electricity produced is still much better than the average. About 0.93kg of carbon emissions are avoided per kWh of electricity produced by solar panels in South Africa.
5. Increase the Value of your Property
Installing solar can increase the value of your home. The average increase in house prices after installing a solar system is 3% to 4%, however there are some factors to consider as each property is unique. This increase is normally about the same as the cost of installing the solar system.
6. Simple and Flexible Installation
Solar panel installation is simple, with the solar installer of your choice the solar panels can be installed anywhere on your property that gets enough sun. This is normally a north facing roof without any tall buildings or trees nearby. Solar systems are also quite flexible as they have the potential to be expanded at any given time by simply adding more panels.
7. Electricity in Remote Areas
Solar systems can also be used for electricity in remote areas or places that are difficult to connect to the electricity grid. These are called off-grid systems and are actually a bit cheaper than grid-tied systems because they don’t require an inverter capable of handling the connection to the grid.
8. Low Maintenance
Although solar systems have a large initial cost, there is little, or no maintenance needed on the system once installed. Although in dusty areas they may need to be cleaned from time to time. It is very important to get a well-designed system with high quality parts and have it installed by someone who knows what they are doing. If the system is not built out of high-quality compatible parts there is a risk that some parts might be underutilized or overloaded and therefore produce less electricity or not last as long as they should.
9. Sense of Abundance
This one is somewhat unexpected but some people report that they feel a sense of abundance after getting a solar system. Saying things like “I’ve stopped worrying about electricity use, both economically and ethically. In essence, I went from a feeling of scarcity to a sense of abundance.”
While there is tentativeness towards going solar because of the previous misconceptions, going solar has many benefits and in our country and economy today it could really be the next best investment for you. Solar is now available and affordable to everyone and should be encouraged in today’s society.