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What to expect with your solar installation

February 20, 2024

Before installing your solar power and battery backup system, it's important to be aware of what to expect. We have compiled the following information to help you prepare for your installation.

Installation Time:

Installations typically take between 2 to 3 days with work taking place on your roof to install panels, in your home to wire the DB hoard and in your garage to mount the inverter and batteries.Larger systems can take longer, but your installer will advise you.

Items that will delay the teams progress include:

• Rainy weather will delay panel installation

• Complicated roof configurations

• Complex cable runs or blockages along the cabling path

• Non-compliant distribution boards or electrical wiring

• Loadshedding will affect the use of power tools and system testing

Working Hours:

Our teams start on site between 7am and 10am, depending on travel, and will generally work until after 5pm in order to keep to schedule. If necessary, work may be completed on a weekend. Please make the team lead aware of any time restrictions that they need to be aware of so that they can plan accordingly.

Electricity Disruptions:

During the installation, there will be times that the team will need to switch off power to your home in order to work safely. Please advise the team lead if you have a specific times which you must have electricity so that they can accommodate for that.

Meet your team:

We will inform you of who your designated installation team is prior to the installation day and will provide you with the name and contact number of the team lead. On the day of the installation, it is advisable that set aside 20 to 30 minutes to meet with the team lead who will take you through the steps of the installation.

If it is not possible for you to attend, please ensure that someone at home can assist with the items below:

Items to cover should include:

• Confirmation of where the solar panels will be installed

• Agree on the location for the Inverter and battery

• Location of trap door to get inside the roof

• Share primary and alternate contact numbers should the team lead need to urgently contact you

• Any specific items to include/exclude from your backup loads and where those circuit breakers are located in your DB board. Please discuss any items you are uncertain about with the team leader.

• Any access procedures should the team need to leave your home and return

• Location of bathroom that can be used by the team

Plan in advance:

Having the following information on hand prior to the team arriving at your home will help:

• A clear list of circuits or devices that must be covered by the backup supply. Take a moment to determine which circuit breakers relate to which lights switches and plug points around the house.

• Confirmation of Wi-Fi access at the location where the inverter will be installed as the inverter will require internet access.

• Clear a suitable space of least 2m high and 1.5m wide for the inverter and battery equipment to mounted on the wall.

• Have a checklist of items that you expect to be working during loadshedding. This will help you to communicate and specific requirements to the installers and will help to quickly check that nothing has been left out.

Prepaid Meters:

The keypads used to monitor and recharge prepaid meters often require a direct connection to the gird supply in order to function. If your keypad is currently plugged into a circuit that will be backed up by the inverter it is recommended to relocate it to a grid-connected circuit in order to avoid any loss of service. If you have a prepaid meter or plan to install one soon, please discuss this with your team leader for them to assist with the most suitable solution.

Gardening & Power Tools:

While the appropriate sizing of your system is generally conducted around essential circuits within your home, gardening and power tools are often omitted.

These appliances generally have high power consumption which could overload an inverter system and it is recommended that provision is made for suitable grid connected sockets for such use.

Scope of work:

Our installation teams may only carry out work that relates directly to the installation and proper functioning of the solar power system and its components as detailed in the signed agreement.

This includes mounting the solar panels, mounting the inverter and battery and wiring the alternate supply into the DB board(s). Any work outside of the scope will be quoted on a time and material basis and carried out by the installer at the discretion of Metrowatt. Please discuss any specific requirements that you may have with your team lead.


While all efforts are made to account for costs at the time of quoting there are some items that only become apparent while the team has started the installation. These are items that fall outside of the standard installation parameters as described on your signed proposal. Your team lead will make you aware of any installation surcharges that will be applied, and these will be invoiced to you on your first invoice from Metrowatt.

Examples include:

• A-Frame brackets for flat roof surfaces, per panel

• Additional lengths of cable

• Wire additional DB boards

• Additional labour and parts to fix existing non-compliance of local electrical standards that may be discovered.

• Separation of mixed circuits where essential and non-essential appliances are supplied by the same circuit

• Provision a circuit on the grid side for a pre-paid meter.


Rental Contracts For customers who select the Rental option, billing works as follows:

1. Once off Solar Ready fee is charged prior to installation

2. At the end of the month in which the system is installed a Pro-Rata rental amount will be charged. This amount is calculated from the date that the system is connected and providing power to you home.

3. Any surcharges that may be applicable will also be charged for.

4. Customers have the option to pay for these additional costs via EFT or allow them to be debited from their nominated account as stipulated in the signed contract

5. At the same time, a debit order transaction will be processed for the monthly recurring fee payable in advance.

Outright Purchases For customers who select the Rental option, billing works as follows:

1. An upfront payment of 80% of the total cost is required prior to installation.

2. The remaining balance of 20% is due on completion of the installation.

3. Any surcharges that may be applicable will also be charged for after installation

Post Commissioning Checks:

Once your system has been commissioned, please make yourself available for 30 minutes to run through the working of the system with the team lead.

Items to check include:

• Failover test to backup

• Check that the items that you expect to be working during loadshedding do have power. E.g. lights, internet, tv, refrigerator, gate motors and security systems.

• Check that the non-essential items do not have power under backup E.g. electric oven and stove, pool pump, air conditioners should not turn on

• Fail back to mains power and ensure that non-essentials have power

• Be clear on the indicator lights in the sub DB installed with the inverter.

• Be clear on the role of isolator switches installed in the sub DB installed with the inverter

• Mobile app login and reporting

Compliance Certificate:

Once the installation has been completed and tested an authorised electrician will issue an electrical Certificate of Compliance for Alternative Power only. This supplementary certificate can only be issued if a valid Certificate of Compliance can be provided for your homes existing electrical system.
If you do not have an existing Compliance Certificate a new once will be issued and charged for by Metrowatt


Rental Contracts

For customers who select the Rental option, it is a requirement of the rental agreement to insure the system to the value of the purchase price as stipulated on the contract. Customers are required to share proof of cover with in 2 weeks of receiving the completed Certificate of Compliance.

Outright Purchases

System Ventilation:

For customers who select the Rental option, it is advisable to take out insurance cover on your solar power system to cover for unforeseen eventualities.

The inverter and battery system can generate heat under normal operating conditions. In order for the system to function effectively there should be sufficient ventilation to allow the heat to dissipate.

• Do not cover the inverter or battery

• Do not store anything directly on top of the inverter or battery

• If the inverter or batter is installed in a confined area please ensure a door or window is open to allow air to circulate freely

Who to contact:

If there are any items what you wish to raise during the installation process or once the installation has been completed these are the numbers use.

Team leader – this is your first point of contact for any installation specific issues.

You will receive the team leader’s number prior to installation

Team Manager – this is your team leader’s direct manager.

Metrowatt Support: Phone: 010 730 0660

Email: support@metrowatt.co.za

You will receive the team managers number prior to installation

Our support centre operates 24/7 and is ready to assist

Power Efficiency Tips:

Making the move to solar power is an excellent way to save on your electricity costs and free yourself from loadshedding. Ensuring that you appliances are efficient will increase your savings and improve your experience of solar power.

Consider these tips:

LED lighting - if you haven’t already done so, switch all the light fittings in your home with energy efficient LED bulbs.

Energy efficient appliances – Replace old appliances, such as fridges, with modern energy efficient models with at least an

A rating efficiency grade.

Geyser 1,2,3 – steps to make your electric geyser more efficient: lower the thermostat temperature, insulate your geyser with an insulating blanket, put a timer on your geyser to maximise it’s usage during daylight hours

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010 730 0660

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Metrowatt Solar Centre,
30 4th ave Parkhurst.
Monday – Saturday
9 AM-5 PM

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