How to maximise savings from your solar and battery investments

Load shedding, unpredictable power supply and rising electricity costs are just a few of the challenges South Africans currently face amidst the country’s energy crisis.   Now more than ever it’s time to consider harnessing the power of the sun to take control of your energy expenses. Solar and battery systems are not just a solution for load shedding; they're a guaranteed way to save on your electricity bill. Here's how you can make the most of your solar power system and maximize your savings:

1. Choose a Hybrid Inverter with Battery Backup:

Investing in a hybrid inverter with a battery backup is your first step toward savings. With this system in place, your home can draw power from solar panels while staying connected to the grid. Essential appliances like your geyser, ovens, air conditioners, and pool pump can run on solar energy. During load shedding, your inverter seamlessly switches to solar power or battery backup, ensuring you're never left in the dark or without power.

2. Optimal Panel Placement:

The direction and placement of your solar panels matter. In the southern hemisphere, panels should ideally face north to capture the maximum sunlight. If your roof layout doesn't permit this orientation, consider an east and west-facing setup. Avoid shading to ensure your panels operate at peak efficiency throughout the day.

3. Battery Optimization:

While it's comforting to have a fully charged battery during load shedding, it may not be the most cost-efficient approach. Analyse your average consumption during outages and adjust your battery retention accordingly. By analysing your average consumption during loadshedding and setting your battery retention to meet only that demand, any excess stored power can rather be used to power your home instead of using the grid.

4. Time Your Appliance Use:

Solar panels generate power when there's demand during daylight hours. To maximize savings, schedule high-energy-consuming appliances like geysers and pool pumps to run between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when solar production is at its peak. Using Wi-Fi timers can help manage this effectively, ensuring consistent consumption throughout the day.

5. Choose the Right Solar Provider:

Your choice of a solar provider can make or break your savings journey. Look for a provider like Metrowatt that offers post-installation monitoring and optimization services tailored to your usage patterns. They can help you get the most out of your solar system and even install Wi-Fi timers to intelligently control your loads.

In a world where Eskom costs continue to rise, your solar power system can be your ticket to financial relief. By following these five key steps, you can unlock the full potential of your solar investment, save on your electricity bills, and secure a brighter, more sustainable future for your home. Don't let soaring electricity costs hold you back—embrace solar power and watch your savings grow.

Solar power and alternative energy specialist Metrowatt is changing the concept of customer service in the energy sector with the opening of its first walk-in solar centre in Parkhurst, Johannesburg.

Reflecting Metrowatt’s commitment to resolving domestic energy challenges, the Solar Centre allows consumers to interact directly with energy experts, derive optimal savings, and access customised alternative energy solutions suited to their unique needs.

Metrowatt is part of the Myriad Capital Group, which was founded 23 years ago by Chairman Greg Wilson.

“Over the years, we have committed ourselves to overcoming many of the connectivity challenges facing South African businesses and consumers. We see the establishment of Metrowatt and the Solar Centre as similarly being able to resolve many of the energy issues facing the country,” Wilson says.

Centre for Customer-Centric Solutions

Located in 4th Avenue, Parkhurst, the Metrowatt Solar Centre embodies the company’s ethos of customer-centric solutions. It offers consumers a hands-on approach to understanding their household energy consumption patterns so that they can select the best solar power and battery solution for their needs.

“Ongoing load shedding, uncertainty of power supply, tariff volatility as well as load limiting are forcing South Africans to re-evaluate their energy consumption habits,” says David Neale, CEO of Metrowatt.

“Our walk-in Solar Centre provides the support and insights necessary for customers to navigate these complexities and transition towards a more cost-effective energy utilisation.”

Supporting a Smart Energy Future

According to Neale, the future of energy usage is undergoing a significant paradigm shift. He envisions a “smart energy future”, where energy usage is managed economically and aligned to availability.

“Metrowatt’s tailored solutions, including inverters, battery systems, and solar, coupled with our smart energy solutions and flexible rental and purchasing options, allow customers to balance their power needs and optimise their energy consumption for maximum savings.”

Partnering with the Parkhurst Community

Parkhurst was chosen for the location of Metrowatt’s inaugural Solar Centre because it has a close knit community and a history of neighbourhood collaboration, which align with Metrowatt’s values of innovation and partnership.

Neale concludes, “This venture into the Parkhurst community with our Solar Centre is an exciting milestone for us. We are committed to partnering with the community to improve services such as traffic lights and lighting up dark and common areas in the Parks, starting with a donation of R50 000 to the Parkhurst Residents And Business Owners Association (PRABOA) and surrounding communities.

Metrowatt looks forward to keeping the lights on by supporting our community and providing the best solar energy solutions to our customers.

Solar power and battery backup company Metrowatt recently opened its first walk-in solar centre, based in Parkhurst, Johannesburg.

It says the centre allows consumers to interact directly with energy professionals, experts and consultants, and gain insight into alternative energy solutions suited to their needs.

Metrowatt is a distributor of solar products and alternative energy solutions, such as batteries and inverters.

The company offers customers the option to buy new solar products for their homes or businesses, and also has an offering where customers can rent solar products over a period of time for a fixed fee.

During an interview with ITWeb at the launch, Metrowatt CEO David Neale noted the idea to open the centre was inspired by the massive increase in the adoption of solar energy systems and products, as more locals look to mitigate load-shedding.

“The uptake of solar solutions has been astronomical, and we see more homes using solar electricity and generating their own electricity in future. This venture into the Parkhurst community with our solar centre is an exciting milestone for us.”

According to Neale, Parkhurst was chosen as the location of the solar centre because it has a close-knit community and a history of neighbourhood collaboration, which aligns with Metrowatt's values.

The centre gives customers a place to figure out the best solar solution for their homes or business. It also helps them to learn how to derive optimal savings from solar power, and access customised alternative energy solutions suited to their needs, he added.

Government currently offers a rebate of 25% on the cost of new and unused solar panels, up to a maximum of R15 000, and Neale said customers have taken advantage of the initiative.

“We've seen a lot of interest stemming from this tax incentive. We've even seen customers who deployed systems a few years ago, coming back and adding solar panels to their systems because of these additional incentives.”

Metrowatt plans to open retail spaces across the country. It is a subsidiary of the Myriad Capital Group, which has its origins in the telecommunications sector.

Speaking to ITWeb on how it got involved in solar energy, Myriad Capital group CEO Greg Wilson said when the ongoing energy crisis in SA began, the company identified opportunities in the commercial solar space.

“We realised there are a lot of parallels to our telecommunications background and that people are trying to solve their load-shedding challenges. But, going forward, it's going to be a lot more important to connect these systems together, and make sure we can have centralised control to actually help with the overall grid, stabilise the grid, and look at how do we feed back into the overall community.”

Venturing into the solar energy space was made easier for Metrowatt due to its longstanding partnership with Chinese telecoms company Huawei, stated Wilson.

Myriad partnered with Huawei to make solar products available to the South African market, including Huawei’s Power-S, which focuses on providing backup power to residential properties, and the Power-M, which supplies businesses and industrial properties with backup power.

The Metrowatt solar centre is open Monday to Saturday from 9am till 5pm and is situated on Fourth Avenue in Parkhurst. 

Johannesburg, South Africa-based renewable energy solution provider Metrowatt is now offering simple hybrid solar and battery-powered solutions for rent from as much as R2,095 a month as part of a new partnership with Huawei.

The company says that these solutions are designed specifically to meet the energy needs of suburban households while ensuring continuity of power supply. The launch is timely as South Africa is currently suffering an energy crisis brought about by years of corruption and mismanagement at its state-owned power utility Eskom.

Many private households are keen to fork out more power to pay for renewable energy solutions such as solar.

According to the popular load shedding app EskomSePush, South Africans to date have lost over 56 days (over 1345 hours) of productivity since the beginning of this year due to load shedding. That’s nearly two months of downtime.

However, since most solutions are very expensive to buy, rentals could be the answer to the affordability question still hampering a wider adoption of solar in suburbs.

MetroWatt says it has partnered with Huawei and its FusionSolar Technology to bring added benefits to potential customers through the solutions.

“We offer customers the best of both worlds. Our hybrid solar and battery backup solution comprises state-of-the-art technology owing to our 22 years experience within the IT sector. This is combined with the most advanced equipment because of our strong partnership with technology partner Huawei FusionSolar,” says MetroWatt Head of Product Laurent Pieton.

“MetroWatt’s partnership with Huawei is unique to South Africa. While they are a global player with extensive research and development capabilities, we can provide local support and tailor our solutions to local needs,” Pieton adds.

The benefits of the MetroWatt-Huawei partnership are several, including:

“With its regular source of sunshine, South Africa is one of the best countries in the world for solar energy,” Pieton says.

“We believe the market will welcome the simplicity of MetroWatt’s rental offerings, which remove the complexity and huge upfront costs associated with making solar-power and related decisions. Our alternative energy solution is easy to use and install,” he added.

MetroWatt’s customers can also use its smart app to monitor system status and power consumption from their phone.

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