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SSEG commissioning letter


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Tends to vary a lot mostly based on complexity of your installation. A simple single phase with a single compliant inverter is not an issue. The problem usually starts rearing its ugly head if your installation is complex and has multiple systems. Now it does not fit the available molds and the fighting starts...


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  • 1 month later...

No one rushed to answer this one (and me being suspicious) I posted this on another local forum and the Terrible Tripplett responed:

Does this mean that even if you are a registered SSEG CoCT cannot buy your excess power due to the national contact they have with Eskom ?? 

Correct. Until the Constitution is changed, or it is gazetted, no-one but Eksom is allowed to sell power to anyone. If you are grid-tied, and do go the feedback route, you have to netmeter over 1 year, you owe them some, they owe you nothing.

That is about to change ... how, we will have to see.

My suggestions, and I've emailed them:
1) Bidirectional meter should be free, not costing me R12k+, offset that cost by paying me a lower rated per kw.
2) If I buy the birectional meter, pay me, ex VAT, Eskom rate per kw.
3) Daily connection fee of wot, +-R14 ex vat per day, nada, no, forget it. Keep the R150 ex VAT connection fee to help offset the ongoing grid maintenance costs.

Can only hope that:
1) They do consider the above for there are a lot of homes with spare, who can assist at no cost nor risk, to CoCT.
2) We, the small guys, can make a cent or two ...

Thing is though, on a 63amp breaker, you are limited to 3.5kw.
But if you can power your house, send the spare back to them, and make R10 per day ... that could be cool.

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I hope this isn't too boring a subject for youall!

I queried the term 'netmeter'. (My understanding of this is being charged the same for electricity that you consume as well as credited for feeding back into the grid) 

I obviously got this wrong! Here's the response:

Netmetering - most simplistic explanation I've heard:
What you push back into the grid, you must use again in the evenings i.e. grid becomes your battery.

The costs to be able to do that i.e. the daily charge + bidirectional meter, makes it very unattractive option for us.

Normally this is over a pre-agreed period, say 1 year, where CoCT will not owe you any money, as that would be seen as them buying electricity from you.
Ideally you should owe them some money, even if it is R10.00

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It is effectively impossible to get to net zero if you sign up to feeding in in Cape Town. Unless you use batteries to assist you during times of low or zero production. That partly defeats the object.

The problem is the vast difference between what COCT pays you for a KW/h and what you pay COCT for a KW/h - plus the increased daily charge (which you have to recover first using your measly income from COCT) plus the not insignificant cost of the bidirectional meter (about 15K in my case including installation).

Add to this the limitation of just how much you can feed in at any point in time based on the size of your connection.

If you decide to jump through the hoops and feed in legally you are best served by viewing your contribution as a "donation". Because that's exactly what it is.

I have a three phase 100A feed and am pretty much maxing it out - I may just be able to break even over a year - not counting the cost of the meter. I doubt that I will be able to get to the point were COCT would owe me. In this scenario I have not utilized by batteries (saving them for loadshedding only) and am not even thinking of the cost of panels or inverters. I have 12KW/h of panels installed and have capacity to do another 5Kw/h before hitting the limit. Might do it just for fun...


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59 minutes ago, The Bulldog said:

It is effectively impossible to get to net zero if you sign up to feeding in in Cape Town

does the CoCT still require connections to remain net consumers over the year or are you now permitted to feed in more than what you consume

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1 hour ago, Fuenkli said:

does the CoCT still require connections to remain net consumers over the year or are you now permitted to feed in more than what you consume

There has been zero communication from COCT. We will have to wait and see.

You are permitted to feed in as much as you like - subject only to the restriction on maximum power you may feed in based on size of your connection.

The limitation is monetary - so if you somehow manage to get to zero Rands as averaged over one year - you would have fed in three to four times what you actually took from the grid - slightly dependent on the size of your connection - the fixed daily charge is the same regardless of the size of your connection. If you have a single phase 65 amp feed - just forget the whole thing and just use your power yourself or start looking at using batteries.

This whole notion of using the grid as your battery - Hah ! Yeah right - it must be the Worlds most ineffective battery. You can do it if you feel your excess power is going to a "good home"...

Edited by The Bulldog
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Well just received COCT bill for the month (up to 16th of October) - about the middle split for my annual estimation.


As you can see I am feeding in more than three times what I am taking at night. Obviously I am producing more than what I am feeding in as the property consumes power during the day - the feed in being the excess.

This compares well with my estimates - I should be able to get relatively close to net-zero as averaged over a solar year but probably will not quite get there unless I add a few more panels. But since I already have 42 panels on the roof it is getting a tad crowded so I would have to align additional panels facing west - a bit less efficient but not too much.

Considering this is the maximum size COCT allows for a residential installation and tariff you can see their calculations just allow net zero for this - anything smaller and its not worth your while. So the notion that COCT does not really want you to do this is a fair conclusion to make.

It took a year of fighting to get this signed off and in total it cost around half a million bucks. To be fair that includes a large battery bank and related inverters as well. Total installed inverter capacity is 30KW.

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Allow me to burst your bubble a bit and give some tips.

  1. The very first thing you do is make sure you are registered on the COCT portal.
  2. Make sure you keep track of your csv readings and compare it  to that of the City. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR DAILY HARVESTING.
  3. The City make use of what I call a rolling value.  They have should have a step on 600Kwhr but they move it.
  4. They refuse to provide original meter readings so reconciliation is extremely difficult
  5. If you have 3 phase system move all your equipment to a single phase and then make sure your SINGLE phase inverter is connected to the same phase. Technically wrong financially sound.
  6. The meters have 2 registers. 1 import 2 export. If you import 1Kw and export 3 Kw in the same 15 minutes (or period then you will result in a 0 account. In other words you ALWAYS get billed.
  7. When it gets to billing they add all imports (usage) then apply the step tariff.  Thus if you import 100 Kw then you have to export _.- 300Kw to get a 0 account. Thus if you used 700Kw and exported 200 Kw they first charge the step and calculate it in a normal way then refund you the 200 x 0,735 or R147.06. The 100Kw above step is calculated @ R 2.5x or R 253.00. You loose all the way.
  8. You got to be very wise and watch the council. They are worse than a bunch of scavengers.
  9. They refuse access to my meter readings for a year and for some reason 1 years of exports never showed. A loss of more than R15 000.
  10. You do not have the right to your actual meter readings only what they want to give to you. That is the formal view of COCT.

Be very careful of the COCT if you trust them you are going to get burned.  They do it good and solid and do not want you to save. They want your pound of flesh at all costs.

Below are my figures

Be warn if you don't watch them they will nail you. They are worst than the Mafia.


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