They may have loadshedded (sp) the English too..By [email protected] | February 5, 2021
You may have seen the alarming news article about Eskom wanting to make homeowners that have solar installations pay more for electricity. This one here got a lot of buzz..
But we think they ran out of English data bundles, and perhaps the load-shedding interrupted what they meant to tell us…
Unfortunately it makes some sense. But the headlines were misleading.
We currently pay a network charge to the local municipality anyway for the use of the grid when they send electricity down to each house. If you look at your monthly municipal statement you will find it.
Remember Eskom terminates at a municipal/metropolitan distribution network i.e. City Power, who then transfer some costs to consumers not directly related to the actual kWh that is consumed, you are charged for the electricity lines that run inside of the city, so that they are able to do maintenance to sub stations, the pylons etc.
So it becomes interesting when you generate your own electricity and you have excess to feed back to the grid, yet you don’t own that infrastructure, so you must pay to earn!
But then you also have to think about the case for grid-tied solar installations. Typically, in such an installation, you can install the necessary equipment that is able to sustain your peak Kwh consumption and consistently throughout. You are then detached from the grid for long periods of time, while your panels generate electricity in maximum sunny conditions, and your batteries keep enough in store for you to pass through night-time consumption into the next day.
However, when light conditions deteriorate, and there is overcast days in consecutive succession, some solar systems are then not operating at maximum efficiency, and at this point you need to backup to Eskom, in the case of a grid-tied system. Now the problem is that during the times when you were off the grid, Eskom don’t know your demand and have not factored you into their demand management plans for those days when you now need to backup to them.
So it means they have to be always ready with capacity for those of us that are mostly off grid, and now at the moment when you come back online onto the grid, Eskom have to have ready capacity, and so that readiness means cost to them, and now they now want to redeem for the cost of that readiness of capacity, even when you don’t use it. That’s the capacity charge that they are proposing in the tariff revision. That’s also still fair, we think.
It all makes economic sense, and personally we support it, the network cost (the shared cost of operating the countrywide/citywide electricity infrastructure) will be negligible at a micro (household) level, but perhaps this tariff revision exercise will be cost redemptive for Eskom at a macro (country) level.
Did you know you can get finance for your solar installation?