Frequently asked Questions on Electrical Solar PV Management Panels and Systems

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Frequently asked Question on Electrical Solar PV Management Panels and Systems  

Prepared by : SAPAC Reporter
Article Classification: Information 
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SAPAC Electrical Solar PV Questions

Only Registered Electrical Contractors are allowed to install Solar its Law!

SAPAC Professionals and Contractors Collective found answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from people looking to shift toward rooftop solar, and established the ultimate know how of information in this article.

Remember, to get in contact with SAPAC to get in contact with a registered electrical contractor for your solar installation. 

Where to Report issues with a Solar Installer and who can I ask for assistance with regards to my Solar PV System?

Contact SAPAC through the Online Portal by following this link https://sapac.co.za or contact SAPAC through email at admin@sapac.co.za SAPAC will assist you to get into contact with the Electrical AIA for Free! 

Do You Need a Permit to Install Solar Panels in South Africa?

To ensure compliance, you must register your solar system for authorization with either Eskom or your local municipality, irrespective of whether the system feeds electricity back into the grid.

Is a COC Required for Solar Installation in South Africa?

A Certificate of Compliance (COC) is essential for all electrical installations, including solar. It serves as verification that the installation adheres to relevant regulations and is deemed safe for use.

What does the term Solar Installer / Certified Installer / Service Providers mean?

The vernacular term "solar installer" or "certified installer" or "service providers" is used by the South African media and other institutions incorrectly. This makes the public confused and allows non electrical contractors to place the public at large in harms way. The correct term is Registered Electrical Contractor if it must be used by the Media or other institutions!  SAPAC Statement

Who Can Install Solar in South Africa?

Installation of solar systems requires a registered electrical contractor, necessitating registration with the Department of Labor is a must. The registration requirements for registered Electrical Contractors to install solar is as follows. 

ESTP Single phase Electrical firms must employ Installation Electricians in order to install Solar PV Management systems. The IE must be on their books.

Installation Electrician may install Solar PV Management systems. Can be found on https://sapac.co.za all areas.

Master Installation Electrician may install Solar PV Management systems. Can be found on https://sapac.co.za all areas.

Who may not install Solar in South Africa?

Companies that sells Solar PV Management systems and sub contracts in registered electrical contractors to write the Certificate of Compliance out. 

PV Green Card Holders that installs Solar and sub contracts in electricians to write the Certificate of Compliance out. 

Builders, Plumbers, unregistered people cannot and may not install Solar PV Management systems. Check for your Safety with SAPAC! 

What is the SANS Code for Solar Installation?

The SANS code for solar installation is SANS 10142-1-2:201X DRAFT.

What Certificate is Needed to Install Solar Panels in South Africa?

The South African PV Green Card is just a certification, and it does not allow the holder to install Solar PV Management systems. Registered Electrical Contractors is the only legal entities that may install Solar PV Management systems.

Do You Need Municipal Approval for Solar Panels in South Africa?

Grid-connected installations mandate registration, and safety is ensured by having a registered electrical contractor. Most municipalities require sign-off by a professional structural engineer including an electrical engineer. And submission of SSEG.

Do You Need a Certificate for Solar Installation?

A Certificate of Compliance (CoC) is essential to verify the safety and compliance of your solar PV or backup system installation. And may only be issued by an installation or master installation electricians that was not subcontracted in to perform the solar PV management system. You have a right to request the Electrical AIA to over inspect your Installation. https://bit.ly/ElectricalAIA

How to Register as a Registered Electrical Contractor in South Africa?

To become a registered electrical contractor, complete the required training and then register with the DoL provide proof of training and previous experience including company information, and pay a registration fee of R240,00.

Can Any Electrician Install an Inverter?

Yes and No - Reasons: ESTP Electricians with a a registered electrical firm can only work on single phase electricity. They cannot issue a CoC for a solar installations. However they must employ a registered installation electrician if they want to perform installation of Solar PV Management systems. This installation electrician will be the responsible person that issues the CoC.

Installation electricians and master installation electricians is the only type of Electricians that may provide electrical COC for Electrical Solar Installations.

Is it a requirement to get the Electrical AIA to perform an over inspection on my installation?

SAPAC Professionals and Contractors would advise that you should get into contact with the Electrical AIA if you are unsure, if you have issues and the "person" that performed the installation is unreachable! Contact SAPAC for immediate assistance!

Do You Need to Register Solar with Eskom?

Registration for authorization with Eskom or the local municipality is necessary, regardless of whether the solar system feeds electricity back into the grid.

Can I Install Solar Panels Myself in South Africa?

From a legal standpoint, solar installations are considered electrical installations and should be performed by a qualified and registered Electrical Contractor. A reputable electrician should issue an electrical compliance certificate for the solar installation.

Does Eskom Charge Solar Users?

Eskom expects solar installations to be carried out by qualified and registered Registered Electrical Contractors, with a legal electrical compliance certificate provided. Read further down for information.

Does an Inverter Need a COC?

All short term insurers will request a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) for the inverter installation, it is highly advised that insurers check with SAPAC Professionals and Contractors if the person that issues the COC is indeed a registered Electrical Contractor. If this did not transpire proper actionable steps will be taken to assist correctly and immediately.   

How to Get a Solar COC?

A registered electrical contractor, Installation Electrician or Master Installation Electrician can and may issue a CoC. You should note that you should have your original CoC for your home handy. Seeing that the Solar installation should be included with your current COC. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Who is the Best Solar Company in South Africa?

Explore top electrical solar companies in South Africa for reliable and efficient electrical solar solutions on https://sapac.co.za SAPAC Professionals and Contractors Collective.  

Are Solar Panels Tax Deductible in South Africa?

Individuals can claim a rebate of 25% of the cost of new solar panels, up to a maximum of R15,000 per individual, as a deduction on income tax liability.

Can You Sell Solar Power Back to the Grid in South Africa?

Net metering allows homeowners with PV installations to sell excess solar power back to the grid, facilitated by installing a bi-directional meter. However you need an electrical engineer to sign off on your installation.

What Can You Run on a 5kW Solar System in South Africa?

A 5kW solar system can power appliances such as washing machines, air conditioners, fridges, water heaters, ovens, and TVs. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

How Long is an Electrical Compliance Certificate Valid in South Africa?

Certificates of Compliance are valid for two years from the date of issue, confirming the electrical work's good condition and adherence to standards.

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How Much Does It Cost to Install Solar Panels in South Africa?

Startup costs for solar installations, estimated by Capitec Bank, range from R150,000 to R350,000. Prospective users have the flexibility to choose interim solutions.

How to Calculate the Number of Solar Panels Required in South Africa?

Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity. 

What is the Latest SANS 10142?

The latest SANS 10142-1 – Edition 3.1 was released in October 2021, with new test reports for general installations and sub-reticulation installations.

What Does NEC Stand for in Solar?

NEC stands for the National Electrical Code, and solar photovoltaic systems fall within its definition of "equipment."

How Do I Become a Registered Sunsynk Installer?

You need to be a Registered Electrical Contractor to become an approved recognized installer, the minimum requirement is to have installed a specific number of Sunsynk inverter systems and meet the legal criteria.

What does SAPAC Stand For? 

SAPAC stands for the South African Professionals and Contractors Collective,  promoting increased awareness of regulations and lifting industry experts and subject matter experts. Assisting the public in many instances for free to get to the correct subject matter experts and correct trades people. And or Approved Authorities. Health and Safety for the public is the main driver. Mediation, Arbitration and Litigation is available among other avenues. And a strict protocol against corruption and associated activities is followed. 

What is the PV Green Card?

The PV Green Card is just a  customized quality report documenting the installation of a rooftop electrical PV system, covering all relevant sequential steps and equipment information. Only a registered electrical contractor may install solar. No one else.

What Does SAPVIA Stand For?

SAPVIA stands for the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association, a not-for-profit association promoting increased deployment of electrical solar PV technology in South Africa. They also developed the PV Green Card. Only a registered electrical contractor may install solar!

Which Inverter is Best for Home Use in South Africa?

Hybrid inverters are ideal for most residential installations in South Africa, providing the best return on investment. However the Registered Electrical Contractor you partner with shall guide you appropriately. Contact SAPAC to check their credentials its free or be placed in contact with a Electrician in your area.

What Size Inverter Can I Run Off a 100Ah Battery?

Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

What Appliances Can Run Off an Inverter?

Inverters can power various appliances, including electric lights, kitchen appliances, microwaves, power tools, TVs, radios, and computers. the Registered Electrical Contractor you partner with shall guide you appropriately. 

How Do I Become a Registered Solar Installer?

In order to to use term solar installer you first have to register as an electrical contractor, then you need to employ a registered electrical installation electrician or be a registered electrical installation electrician. The term Solar Installer does not exist. 

Who Regulates Solar Energy in South Africa?

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) regulates the electricity, piped-gas, and petroleum pipelines industries.

Is Solar Cheaper Than Eskom?

Solar is considered cheaper than Eskom power, offering savings and a lower payback period. Regulations have allowed private consumers to install larger projects since 2021.

How Do I Register My Solar with Municipality?

Registering your solar system with your municipality involves commissioning, obtaining local authority permission then completing the required SSEG application form, providing an electrical installation Certificate of Compliance, and submitting other relevant documents. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Power a House in South Africa?

The number of solar panels needed depends on factors such as monthly energy consumption, location, and inverter parameters. On average, six to fourteen panels are used for a household. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Why Can't I Install My Own Solar Panels?

Installation of solar panels is a highly technical task requiring specific knowledge and skills. It's advised to engage registered electrical contractors due to the complexity and potential risks. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Is It Illegal to Generate Your Own Electricity in South Africa?

As of January 17, 2023, the threshold for generation licenses under the Electricity Regulation Act has been amended, allowing individuals to generate their own electricity up to 100 MW.

Does Load Shedding Affect Solar Panels?

During load shedding, solar panels can still produce power if connected to a battery-powered hybrid inverter, supplying essential loads.

What is the Eskom Rebate for Solar Panels?

The Eskom rebate for solar panels offers a maximum of R15,000 per individual, encouraging investment in solar infrastructure.

Who Can Issue a COC for Solar Installation in South Africa?

Only a registered Installation Electrician (IE) or Master Installation Electrician (MIE) can issue an electrical Certificate of Compliance for a solar installation. Important to note a registered electrical contractor will not issue a CoC if they are not familiar with the system.

If they have not installed the system and they provide you with a CoC you should know that you are sitting with an illegal installation. This should be reported and may be reported to the Electrical Approved inspection authority should you require assistance contact SAPAC immediately. 

Do You Need to Buy a Battery with an Inverter?

The need for a battery depends on the type of inverter. Backup energy during power outages requires a battery, while some solar grid-tied inverters may not need one. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Do You Need a Certificate for Solar Installation?

After the installation of a Electrical solar PV or backup system, obtaining a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) is crucial to ensure compliance and your safety. This can only be issued by the Registered Electrical Contractor that has installed the electrical solar PV management system. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

How Much Does a COC Cost?

The cost of a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) typically ranges from R2500 or more, depending on the property's size and location. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Do You Need a Permit for Solar Panels in South Africa?

To install solar panels, authorization is required from Eskom or the local municipality, irrespective of whether the system feeds electricity back into the grid. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Who is the Largest Solar Installer in South Africa?

SAPAC Professionals and Contractors Collective has access to top tier Electrical Contractors that installs solar PV management systems in accordance with the Electrical Installation Regulations and many of them can handle large Electrical Multi Billion Rand projects. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Which Solar Battery is Best in South Africa?

This depends on affordability so do speak to a knowledgably Electrical Contractor! Get in contact with SAPAC Professionals and Contractors.  Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

What is the SARS Solar Rebate for 2023?

As of 2023, individuals installing solar panels can claim a rebate of 25% of the cost, up to a maximum of R15,000, as a deduction against income tax liability.

How Much is the Solar Rebate in South Africa?

As of March 1, 2023, individuals can claim a 25% rebate on the cost of solar panels, with a maximum reclaimable amount of R15,000, applicable for one year.

Can I Remove My Solar Panels When I Sell My House?

If you own the solar array outright, you have the freedom to decide what to do with the system. However, it's generally advised against removing them when selling a house. Seeing that should you remove them you should request a new CoC to be performed. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Can You Feed Electricity Back Into the Grid in South Africa?

Certain municipalities, like the City of Cape Town, offer a reverse feed tariff, allowing homeowners to sell excess energy back to the grid. Note that the solar installation must be signed of by a Structural Engineer including an Electrical Engineer. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

How Many Batteries Do I Need for a 5kW Solar System?

Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Who is Responsible for Electrical Compliance Certificate?

Responsibility for the Electrical Compliance Certificate lies with the person using or renting the property, often outlined in the rental agreement.

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Is an Electrical Compliance Certificate Mandatory?

Yes a valid Electrical Compliance Certificate is a legal requirement, and individuals owning any electrical installation should possess a valid COC at all times.

How Much Does a 5kW Solar System Cost in South Africa?

A 5kW solar system can cost around R110,000, catering to the energy needs of a medium to large family in a four-bedroom house.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for a 4 Bedroom House in South Africa?

The number of solar panels needed depends on factors like available space, electricity usage, and inverter parameters. On average, six to twenty-three panels may be required. SAPAC Professionals and Contractors however strongly recommends speaking to a registered electrical contractor.

Can I Run a Geyser on a 5kW Solar System?

Most geysers are supplied with a 3kW element, utilizing a significant portion of a 5kW inverter's capacity. It's recommended to manage loads effectively. It is highly recommended that you speak to a registered electrical contractor. 

What Can a 5kW Solar System Run in South Africa?

A 5kW solar system can power various appliances, including lights, chargers, TVs, PCs, fridges, and a home security system, among others. It is highly recommended that you speak to a registered electrical contractor. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

What Does SANS 10142 Stand For?

SANS 10142 is a national standard in South Africa for the safe installation of electrical wiring, addressing electrical installation requirements.

Who Regulates the Electrical Solar Industry in South Africa?

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) regulates the electricity, piped-gas, and petroleum pipelines industries in South Africa.

Is Electrical Solar Cheaper Than Eskom?

Electrical Solar is considered cheaper than Eskom power, offering savings and a lower payback period. Regulations have allowed private consumers to install larger projects since 2021.

How Do I Register My Electrical Solar PV Management system with Municipality?

Registering your solar system with the municipality involves commissioning, obtaining local authority permission, completing an application form, providing an electrical installation Certificate of Compliance, and submitting other relevant documents. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Power a House in South Africa?

Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Why Can't I Install My Own Solar Panels?

Installation of solar panels is a highly technical task requiring specific knowledge and skills. It's advised to engage professionals due to the complexity and potential risks. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Is It Illegal to Generate Your Own Electricity in South Africa?

As of January 17, 2023, the threshold for generation licenses under the Electricity Regulation Act has been amended, allowing individuals to generate their own electricity up to 100 MW. It is highly recommended that you speak to a registered electrical contractor. 

Does Load Shedding Affect Solar Panels?

During load shedding, solar panels can still produce power if connected to a battery-powered hybrid inverter, supplying essential loads. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

What is the Eskom Rebate for Solar Panels?

The Eskom rebate for solar panels offers a maximum of R15,000 per individual, encouraging investment in solar infrastructure.

Who Can Issue a COC for Solar Installation in South Africa?

Only a registered Installation Electrician (IE) or Master Installation Electrician (MIE) can issue an electrical Certificate of Compliance for a solar installation. You may find such firms that installs solar on https://sapac.co.za or request Free  assistance and guidance.

Do You Need to Buy a Battery with an Inverter?

The need for a battery depends on the type of inverter. Backup energy during power outages requires a battery, while some solar grid-tied inverters may not need one. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

What are the common inquiries addressed by an expert regarding rooftop solar in South Africa?

As more South Africans adopt rooftop solar solutions to address the challenges of load shedding, it is a notable fact that consumers lack comprehensive knowledge about the legal requirements of Electrical Solar Installations. 

On a daily basis, Public consumers contact SAPAC with issues where illegal installations has been performed. 

Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Are all solar panel brands equally efficient?

The effectiveness of a solar panel is contingent on both the quantity of sunlight it captures and its comprehensive technical specifications. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.. 

What is the typical duration for the installation of a residential solar system?

As per information from registered electrical contractors, the installation of solar panels, an inverter, and a battery can typically be completed in a timeframe ranging from one to three days. Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

Can solar panels be installed on flat roof

Solar panels will perform efficiently on a flat roof, provided they are mounted securely and installed at the optimal angle by a registered electrical contractor. To get in contact with an approved electrical firm contact SAPAC.

The optimum angle for a solar panel’s performance in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, would depend on latitude and other local factors, It is highly recommended that you speak to a registered electrical contractor. 

What are the different payment options?

  • Solar as a service – this scheme refers to the rental of the product and no transfer of ownership – giving users the benefits of solar at a lower monthly cost and without the associated costs of ownership. Note you need a registered electrical contractor to assist you with your installation. Contact SAPAC for free assistance.
  • Rent to Own – Rent to Own is just like a cellphone contract for solar. “You are able to benefit from the full savings of owning the system after the contract is up. If you sell your home, you should be able to transfer your rental agreement into the new owner’s name, subject to the new owner agreeing to the original terms and conditions.” Contact SAPAC for free assistance to get into contact with a correct electrical firm.
  • Cash – This is when you buy the system outright. The positives are that you start to get a return on investment immediately, however, it requires substantial upfront capital.

Speak to a registered Electrical Contractor or contact SAPAC to assist you get into contact with reliable Electrical Firms in your vicinity.

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