Picture: SA Solar

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town has urged all households making use of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations to register with the municipality no later than 28 February 2019, according to a report by Business Tech. 

In a statement, the city said that residents with SSEG systems are required to register and obtain authorisation in accordance with the city’s electricity supply by-law.

“Connecting an SSEG system to the grid can pose a safety risk and, for this reason, the city must ensure that all generating equipment is approved and installed correctly,” it said.

“It has taken some time for South Africa to develop national standards to connect SSEGs safely to the electricity grid.

“In the absence of national standards, the city has developed temporary standards to allow people to register for authorisation and connect safely. Since 2010 all small-scale embedded generation systems must be registered with the city.

“With the finalisation of the national technical specifications, there is now growing clarity for the need for all SSEG owners to register their systems rather than obtain a generation licence from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA),” it said.

It added that this registration is anticipated to become a national legal requirement.

They also added that this does not apply to solar water heaters.

As customers may not have been aware of the registration requirement, the city said that it is now proactively promoting registration and allowing a grace period for existing systems to be authorised.

After the grace period, the city will begin implementing a service fee for the disconnection of unauthorised SSEG connections.

“The supply of electricity to the property in question may be disconnected and will only be allowed to be reconnected once the city is satisfied that the SSEG system is either disconnected, decommissioned or authorised and that the service fee has been paid,” it said.

“Customers registering their system during the grace period may continue to operate their system.

The City warns that if solar systems are not registered, households are at a risk of being fined or having their grid-tied electricity shut off.

“This arrangement is based on the assumption that the system is compliant with the city’s requirements. If during the registration and authorisation process, a system is found to be non-compliant it will need to be disconnected until such time as it is compliant and has received written authorisation from the city.”

 Customers have six months in which to demonstrate compliance and must receive written authorisation from the city, the statement said.