Solar finance in South Africa

November 2023: where we are with solar finance in South Africa right now

Last Updated: January 18, 2024By

It’s been a while since I wrote about solar finance in South Africa, so I thought it time to do a round-up post of the options you have currently.

Things are so dynamic in this industry, so it’s important to stay up to date as much as possible.

Let’s explore the current solar finance solutions for South Africans.

1. FNB Solar Finance

First National Bank (FNB) is pioneering solar finance in South Africa by allowing homeowners to borrow up to 15% of their property’s value for solar installations. Integrated within FNB’s app through the ‘Nav Energy’ feature, the bank offers a seamless experience, providing clients with information and access to vetted renewable energy providers. This initiative, adaptable for UPS and inverter solutions as well, merges the loan with the customer’s home mortgage, offering a streamlined and flexible approach to adopting solar energy.

More about FNB Alternative Energy Solutions

2. Standard Bank Solar Finance

Standard Bank, through its subsidiary Looksee, provides diverse solar power system options, including grid-tied, backup/hybrid, and off-grid systems. Catering to various energy needs, these systems range from basic grid connectivity to complete energy independence. Standard Bank simplifies the process of choosing and financing solar installations, offering comprehensive support from selection to installation, thereby easing the transition to sustainable energy solutions for its clients.

More about Standard Bank Solar Loan solutions

3. Absa Bank Solar Finance

Absa Bank’s solar finance options make renewable energy more accessible. By offering manageable monthly repayments, Absa facilitates the affordability of solar energy systems. This approach not only helps in mitigating the initial high costs of solar installations but also promises long-term savings on electricity costs, offering a sustainable solution to the challenge of load shedding in South Africa.

More about Absa Solar Finance

4. Nedbank Solar Finance

Nedbank stands out with its commitment to promoting solar energy through well-structured finance options. The process begins with selecting a Nedbank-approved solar supplier, ensuring quality and reliability. Nedbank’s approach encompasses a comprehensive understanding of renewable energy investment, from assessment to installation, making it a strong contender for those seeking to invest in sustainable energy solutions.

More about Nedbank Solar Energy Finance

5. Discovery Bank Solar Finance

Discovery Bank, in partnership with Rubicon, offers flexible funding options for solar energy projects. Their model allows clients to select a suitable solar kit and finance it using Discovery Bank’s credit facilities. The bank’s emphasis on flexibility and client-centric solutions, combined with Rubicon’s expertise in solar installations, makes it an attractive choice for eco-conscious consumers.

More about Discovery Bank Energy Solutions

6. Al Baraka Bank Solar Finance

Al Baraka Bank, a prominent Islamic Bank in South Africa, provides tailored solar financing options. With choices between fixed and variable price terms, the bank offers low deposit requirements, no monthly admin fees, and competitive pricing. Their flexible repayment options, extending up to 120 months, cater to both individuals and businesses looking to invest in solar energy.

More about Al Baraka Solar Finance Solutions

7. WesBank Solar Finance

WesBank offers a unique approach to solar finance, treating it as a standalone installment sale agreement akin to buying a car. They provide structured deals for up to 72 months, with customizable options regarding deposits and interest rates. Financing solar installations up to R500,000, WesBank’s solutions are designed to make renewable energy adoption straightforward and accessible for homeowners.

More about Wesbank Solar Finance

8. Government Initiatives

South African government initiatives, like the Energy Bounce Back Loan Guarantee Scheme and rooftop solar feed-in schemes, showcase a strategic approach to energy resilience. These initiatives encourage investment in solar energy at both corporate and residential levels, offering immediate relief to the national grid. Additionally, the Energy Action Plan and associated tax incentives for solar installations demonstrate the government’s commitment to a sustainable and energy-secure future.

Let’s look at these options in more detail:

  • Energy Bounce Back Loan Guarantee Scheme (EBB): Launched by the National Treasury, this scheme aims to alleviate the impact of ongoing power issues by providing loan guarantees​​.
  • Rooftop Solar Feed-in Schemes: The government has implemented policies to encourage embedded electricity generation, including rooftop solar feed-in schemes for corporate and residential buildings. These schemes are part of the broader strategy to address load shedding and align with climate change commitments​​.
  • Energy Action Plan: Published in July 2022, this plan includes measures to encourage investment in rooftop solar. Eskom is developing a feed-in tariff for small-scale embedded generators, and there are tax incentives for residential and commercial installations. From March 2023, individuals can claim a rebate of 25% of the cost of solar panels, up to R15,000, to reduce their tax liability in the 2023/24 tax year​​.

Solar installation companies in South Africa that offer finance for solar

1. InPower Solar

  • Offers a solar power financing option similar to a solar loan.
  • Provides a 3kW solar power kit that includes a 5kW Sunsynk inverter, 5.5 kW Hubble Am2 battery, and 8 x Tier1 JA Solar Panels 455W, along with full installation.
  • Charges a once-off deposit of R46,691, with monthly installments of R3,554 over 36 months at an interest rate of prime -1%​​.

2. Rent-to-Own Solar Companies

  • Various companies offer rent-to-own solar power solutions.
  • A typical offering includes a 5kW Deye inverter, 5.5 kW Hubble Am2 battery, 8 x Tier1 Canadian Solar Panels 455W, and full installation.
  • Charges a once-off admin fee of R1,740 and monthly installments of the same amount, with an option to take complete ownership after 3 years for an additional cost of R162,000​​.

3. Bank Financed Solar via Third-Party Providers

  • Banks collaborate with solar suppliers to provide comprehensive financing packages.
  • Offerings often include a 5kW Deye inverter, 8x 460W Solar Panel MBB Half-Cell Module, and Vision deep cycle AGM battery 12V 200AH.
  • Charges include R20,000 for installation, R18,800 for materials and mounting, and monthly installments of R4,035.53​​.

4. Bank Finance with Own Installer

  • Banks offer solar loans for customers to use with approved suppliers and installers.
  • A typical package includes a 5kW Sunsynk Inverter, 5.5 kW Hubble Am2 battery, and 8 x Tier1 JA Solar Panels 455W.
  • No deposit required, with monthly installments of R6,584.85 at an interest rate of 28.25%​​.

5. Nedbank Avo Solar

  • Offers market-leading solar financing packages.
  • Includes competitive prices, full installation by certified suppliers, a 10-year warranty, and customized options.
  • Provides finance options with up to 84 months to pay​​.

Find out more here: https://solar.avo.africa/home.html

Other Solar Financing Firms in South Africa

  • Bayport Solar Finance: Focuses on the financing needs of underserved communities.
  • Hollard Solar Finance: Offers a loan + insurance bundled product called Hollard SunProtect.
  • EEP Solar Finance: Provides various debt finance facilities for solar installations.
  • GreenCape Finance Desk: Assists consumers in accessing financing options for renewable energy projects.
  • Sun Exchange and 1Sun Solar Finance: Provide guidance in navigating solar financing options and direct access to apply for solar financing

Are you looking for solar?

If you are looking for a reputable solar installer in South Africa, please complete the form and one of our solar installation partners will get back to you. Please note that we do not offer solar finance.

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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.

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