Photo by Justin Lim on Unsplash
Photo by Justin Lim on Unsplash.
  • The City of Cape Town will used aerial photos and other methods to identify unregistered solar panel systems
  • Owners of around 1,200 solar PV panel systems have already registered before the deadline of March 31st. 
  • Owners of solar-powered geysers and emergency equipment such as standby generators do not have to register. 
  • For more, go to Business Insider SA. 

From next month, the City of Cape Town will use aerial photographs, inspections and billing analysis to find unregistered rooftop solar panel systems.

If you are using a solar PV panel system, you need to be registered with the city - or you will be disconnected from the city's electricity grid, which will cost you R6,425.90. 

Owners of 1,200 solar panel systems have already registered with the city, before the official cut-off of Friday, May 31st. 

Owners of solar-powered geysers and emergency equipment such as standby generators do not have to register.

The registration was made mandatory for all small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) installations in order to keep track of non-registered systems which are believed to make up 70% of all the rooftop panels in the city

The City has said it would identify unregistered PV systems using visual inspection by official electricity staff, billing anomalies and visual counts using aerial photographs. The systems identified will then be correlated against their existing database of authorised systems.

“Approximately 450 authorised and commissioned systems have been registered and another 750 applications are in the process of being registered,” said Councillor Phindile Maxiti, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change.

Read more: Cape Town residents have 2 more days to register solar panels with the city – or else

The city expects that the registration requirement will soon be introduced nationally.

“Remember, apart from pre-empting national legislation that will require this registration, it is also extremely dangerous to have live systems connected on the electricity grid that City electrical staff does not know about, especially if they are working on sections of the network. They could be electrocuted,” Maxiti told Business Insider South Africa.

New installations must be registered and authorised prior to installation, said Maxiti.  Registration is free. 

See also: With the new power price, solar geysers are almost – but not quite – starting to make financial sense

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