Are you considering installing a solar PV system in South Africa? Before you do, there's something you need to know: not all "electrical solar PV installation Firms or Solar PV Installation businesses" are the same. In fact, there's a big difference between an "electrical solar PV Installation firm" and a regular "solar PV installation business" that could impact your safety and the success of your installation.
So, what is the difference?
A electrical solar PV installation firm, is a registered electrical contractor that has completed their trade as an electrician and is well-versed in the South African national standards (SANS) 10142-3 part 1 and SANS 10142-3 part 2, as well as SANS 10400-T.
These standards outline the requirements for electrical installations in buildings, including the selection and erection of equipment and the installation of renewable energy technologies like solar PV systems.
"What are these Standards?"
SANS 10142-3 part 1 "Low Voltage" is a South African National Standard, that outlines the requirements for electrical installations in buildings. It covers the general principles of electrical installations, as well as the selection and erection of equipment.
SANS 10142-3 part 2 "medium voltage" is also a South African National Standard, that provides additional guidance on the installation of electrical equipment in buildings. This includes the installation of solar PV systems, as well as other renewable energy technologies.
SANS 10400-T is a South African National Standard, that specifically addresses the energy efficiency of buildings. This standard covers various aspects of building design and construction, including the installation of renewable energy technologies like solar PV systems.
Electrical solar PV installer firms are legally required to be registered with the Department of Labor as Electrical Contractors and must comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and Electrical Installation Regulations.
They are also fully accredited to install and assist with a variety of electrical problems and can provide a valid legal CoC (Certificate of Compliance).
On the other hand, a regular solar PV installation business is typically started by an entrepreneur who attends a PV Green Card course to obtain an attendance certificate for a solar PV green card.
They do not have all the applicable overheads that an "electrical solar PV system installer" has, and may send non-electricians to attend the Solar PV Green Card training as well. They then contract an electrician to provide a CoC. This is not correct, and is not lawful. Note that the onus of such installations falls directly on the electrician that signs of on such installations.
Green card holders cannot install solar they cannot legally access your DB Board only a registered electrician may perform such function.
Many solar PV installation businesses has been shown, that their installations lead to various issues with compliance, such as a lack of CoC, lack of detailed invoices for insurance purposes, SSEG reports (dependant on municipality by laws), and refusal by insurance to cover the solar system. In some cases, the installation may even result in fines from municipalities for illegal connections or a legal disconnection in terms of your own Health and Safety.
This happens when General Control is not applied as is required** There must be a registered electrician in the case of Solar PV Installation businesses at least an Installation Electrician on each Job (not an ESTP as they also have to work under General Control with regards to installations)
And when you apply yourself to the above. The reasonable option will be that such electrician is in the full employ of such said solar electrical firm. Meaning that such firm will then perform the required registrations just as a normal "electrical solar PV installation Firm"
Think - when it comes to this issue, the reasonable legitimate way will be to follow the set standard that has been and followed already for years now! To keep you the end user safe. Non complacency is not an excuse. And taking shortcuts with electrical work is like electricity itself. It follows the shortest route. And incidents and uncalled claims is already being experienced in South Africa
Banking sector "Wake Up Call"
Moreover, what the banks is not getting right is the following: When it looks good it is not always right. There are business entities out there with capital that can carry system installations even tough they are not compliant with regards to the electrical installation regulations.
The Safest option is then therefore always the best option. electrical solar PV installer firms - (i.e.) Electricians
SAPAC is your Helping Hand!
As a public member you want to ensure your solar PV installation is safe and compliant?
Firstly, always make contact with SAPAC - The South African Professionals and Contractors Collective. Or inform your chosen entity to contact SAPAC through firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://bit.ly/SAPACHelp for assistance.
Join SAPAC here on social media https://bit.ly/JoinSAPAC
Secondly, SAPAC can be browsed online to find an electrical firm that is fully accredited to install solar PV systems and SAPAC can provide you frank feedback on your selection of a potential "installation firm" or "installation business" with facts.
Remember, the cheapest option when it comes to your Health and Safety is not always the best option. Don't take the risk with your solar PV installation – choose an Electrical Solar PV Installation Firm that has the necessary expertise and accreditation to ensure your safety and compliance.
Article checked verified and approved by third party sources all over South Africa