• Deen Gabriel

Want a loan to install solar panels at your home or business? Here's what the banks are offering

As Eskom announced it would enter Stage 6 load shedding, more and more South Africans will be looking for alternatives to power their homes and businesses. 

Going off the grid can be an expensive investment and often requires a large payment of cash upfront. 

But, a growing number of banks are offering incentives for businesses and small companies to install Solar Photovoltaic (solar PV)  panels, Jack Radmore, GreenCape’s energy programme manager, said. 

He said a typical solar panel installation, to power a small home between 4-7kWp, can cost anything between R60,000 and R105,000, excluding battery costs. 

This translates into roughly R1.30 per kWh for the next 15 years, he said. 

Commercial tariffs sit between 85c and R1.70 per kWh and residential tariffs can go as high as R2.20 per kWh.

Radmore said for a medium-sized commercial system, roughly the size of 250kWp, the price increase to roughly R3.2 million, excluding battery costs.

This translates into roughly R0.90 per kWh for the next 15 years.

“It is very important to highlight that these upfront costs are no longer a barrier in the South African decentralised energy market,” Radmore told Business Insider South Africa.

“A number of innovative financial mechanisms exist that require no upfront capital from the customer.”

For example, he said, a power purchase agreement allows consumers to buy electricity per unit as they do from Eskom at a set price for between 12 and 15 years. 

Radmore gave Business Insider South Africa a break down of what each bank is offering for solar panel installations. 

It is important to note that solar panels are VAT deductible, and qualifies for a 12b tax benefit which can result in additional savings of 28% on cost. 


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