With the cost of electricity set to rise again, building owners and tenants are bracing for higher monthly power bills – but there may be a way to avoid this.

Easing electricity costs with solar energy

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems have become increasingly popular over the past decade or so. As fans of this technology point out, it helps generate valuable electricity while easing our impact on the environment.

The only disadvantage to installing a solar power system used to be the high initial cost – but this has been changing. As more commercial property owners convert their buildings to solar power to meet their energy needs, many new PV suppliers and installers have entered the market and prices have become more competitive.

Most solar PV systems pay for themselves in 5 years or less

As the cost of installing a solar power system continues to fall (while electricity prices keep rising), the financial benefit for commercial property owners is very real.

  • At current price levels, a newly-installed solar PV system, providing energy for a good 25 years, should pay for itself within 5 or less.
  • This represents twenty years of significant monthly savings and a reliable source of electricity that isn’t reliant on the national power grid.

Provided that building owners can finance the initial costs of a solar power system (which are typically R250 000 or higher for most buildings), the long-term savings and reliability are definitely an incentive to “go solar”.

What to look for in a good solar power system

Solar PV systems differ when it comes to the size and number of solar panels, the system’s power storage capacity (which is essential at night and on cloudy days), and build quality.

Ideally, a solar power system should replace or significantly reduce your building’s reliance on the Eskom power grid. To achieve this, it will need to produce as much power per month as your building currently uses.

  • Most solar power systems start to produce power less efficiently after 20 to 25 years
  • To ensure a reliable power supply, always insist on a warranty that extends at least this long
  • Throughout the lifespan of your solar PV system, you should arrange an annual service inspection to make sure that the system is producing electricity efficiently

Energy-efficient office buildings are becoming the norm in Cape Town, in line with global trends. To view our portfolio of cutting-edge commercial properties, contact us today.