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How did we pay for our solar installation?

Last Updated: January 18, 2024By

Many people have asked me if it has been worth installing solar recently and how we paid for it.

Our solar installation costs came to about R300,000.

This is not money we had lying around so we had to pay for it by increasing our bond.

We increased our bond by R350,000 because there are some additional security upgrades (firepool, etc :) ) we needed to add to our house.

We had a bond with Standard Bank but we switched to FNB due to poor service from Standard Bank. This process took about 6 months because we were trying to get settlement figures and paperwork from Standard Bank. The FNB side of the experience was great. Extending your bond is one of many FNB solar finance options.

What did this do to our repayments?

Our bond repayments increased by about R2,000 per month. Yes, this will fluctuate with interest rates and the loan terms related to your specific situation. This number should be regarded as an illustrative value for those sitting poised with their calculators and Twitter at their fingertips waiting to shout “foul!”.

What has the solar installation done to our electricity bill?

We were using about R2,500 of electricity per month. Now, we are forecast to have a bill of R350 per month. This is for a 3 bedroom house with a pool, outside cottage, 2 large geysers and one small geyser. We cook with gas and hardly use the oven. We have an air fryer (how very basic can you get :)). We time the geysers to only run during the day when the sun is shining (we use GeyserWise systems).

What is our net financial position after considering the increased bond and the reduced electricity bill?

Original electricity bill: R2,500

New electricity bill: R350

Money we save on electricity: R2,500 – R350 = R2,150

Increased bond repayment amount: R2,000

Difference between what we save on the electricity bill and the additional payment on our bond: R2,150 – R2,000 = R150

We are saving R150 a month and we are 100% free from loadshedding.

We have not had a single interruption in power despite stage 4 and 6 and everything in between.

What about the value of our property?

We estimate (and we have reviewed this with our estate agent too) that we could sell our house for R500,000 more than the current market value simply because we are free from loadshedding and have the solar installation. Spend R300k and add R500k of value makes sense, right?

The solar installation is therefore an asset to our house and has added value to it.

Do the banks have standalone finance for solar options?

I sincerely wish the banks would roll out solar loan products because honestly people are desperate with this never-ending load shedding.

FNB has an eBucks store option where you can buy inverters and backup systems with eBucks. They also have a solar finance product option geared towards businesses but I have not yet seen anything else that would be accessible to a large part of the South African population.

Nedbank have a solar finance product with MFC Finance and Hohm energy.

I’m scanning the news each day and reaching out to the banks for news about solar finance options but nothing yet. If I find out, I will update this article and write about it.

For now, we are part of the lucky few who have a bond and the means to extend it. Most are not this lucky.

The future is self-sufficiency – don’t expect handouts from any government from any party.

The world’s finances are not in a good state and there is massive inequality so everyone needs to learn how to be as self-sufficient as possible in all areas including food, security, water, energy, health and education.

Stay tuned – it’s going to be a fun ride.

 

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About the Author: Tony Lopes

Tony is the founder and editor of CleanVolts.co.za. He has completed solar certifications and courses through Green Solar Academy. Tony's goal is to see solar panels on every roof-top in South Africa and the adoption of EVs and renewable technology across the African continent.