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Rent to own solar

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There are companies that do this. Obviously it will be subject to approval from a bank, so your credit record has to be good.

But it is an expensive way to do it. Obviously there are finance charges added by the bank which means you pay more for the hardware and take longer to break even (assuming you ever do), and unless you splash out a lot and go all the way off grid you are still going to have some sort of electricity bill each month.

Take me. I live in Jo'burg. I buy electricity from the City. I have a hybrid system so that I can fall back on grid when the skies are grey. So I need to have a grid connection and from July 1st that is going to cost me at least R200 a month (I'm on prepaid electricity). Sure, I could resell my surplus, but in Johannesburg, given the tariffs they have published, I can't see how I'd as much as break even on that  so I don't even try. My system always uses a little power from the grid, so I'd be in for 15 units on a very good month. So there is still going to be some bill over and above the repayment on the equipment.

If you are trying to justify the outlay on a rands and cents basis that is difficult. Maybe if the system is for business premises and you can claim the installments as a running cost then it may be a bit better, but I think that in terms of just rands and cents it will be hard to justify. It depends on the soft value that you (or whoever is thinking of going this route) attaches to the greatly reduced chances of the lights going off.

In the meantime start putting the amount you would countenance paying each month into an interest bearing account.


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Thanks both of you. This query is for someone else - The person in question is hoping to exchange his utility payment for a monthly solar payment. I agree with both of you, I personally think it is a terrible idea in most circumstances. But if this is the avenue he wants to persue, then I at least want to introduce him to a qualified company that wont do him in.

My system was bought cash and works well. And I have no loan repayments to detract from the enjoyment of the system. When there is good sun, I have 'free' electricity. More importantly, when the skies are grey, I don't get that sinking feeling I am paying twice for my electricity.

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I am an installer as well as a solar owner. I my self could not afford to pay for the system cash as many of my clients can't either. 

I made a loan and I'm paying  the bank as well as eskom. Eskom as a back up and solar as my main source. I do pay a bit more but at the end of 5 years the system is mine and from there on out it is free. 

One of the more important choices that I had to make was the battery bank. I installed flooded lead acids which I could maintain. After a year I got worried about the life span  of the batteries as i would have to replace them with in 3 years. I came across the supercapacitor sirius model of kilowatt labs. I have since extended my loan and even tough my payment is higher than initially one have to take into consideration that the battery has a 10 year warranty and a 45 year life expectancy. Well now I have a life long system. I know there might be hiccups with electronics but the system is much more robust with the right battery. 


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