What’s the difference between solar energy and solar panels?

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With the solar industry taking South Africa by storm, the urge to be a part of the change and switch to a more sustainable source of energy grows bigger every day. The number one advantage of solar energy is cheaper energy bills coupled with creating a sustainable environment for generations to come.

Assuming everyone is modestly rationale and wants cheaper energy, the biggest question is do I own a solar system, or do I let someone else own it for me? Let’s explore the differences…

1. Large upfront capital investment

The large upfront investment required when purchasing a solar system makes the initial cost of owning your own system extremely high. An upfront cost can however be avoided, instead of paying for a solar system you just pay for solar energy used with no upfront payment or cost for the system. The energy you pay for is at a cheaper rate than what you are currently being charged, so you start saving money on your bills from day one.

2. Maintenance and insurance costs

The ongoing maintenance required in order for a solar system to operate at optimum capacity is always underestimated. The cost of maintaining a system on your own can become a costly, admin intensive job. As the system warranties begin to void over time so the maintenance costs increase. With a solar services model, the service provider is responsible for the maintenance costs as well as the insurance. These costs are factored into the unit cost for use of the solar system.

Once solar panels have been installed on your roof, they begin to gather dirt, dust and even bird faeces which hinders the panel’s performance therefore, periodic cleaning is required in order to maintain its efficiency. In most cases the solar service provider monitors the system’s performance using an online monitoring tool that allows one to live track the solar system’s performance at any given time in order to ensure its constantly operating at optimum efficiency.

Insuring your solar system also becomes an added cost, should your solar panels or inverters get damaged due to a fire, hail, lightening or any other unforeseen event, the expense to replace these can become costly. With a solar services model, these issues are of no concern as all systems are insured at the service providers cost.

3. Oversized systems

When purchasing a solar system, it can happen that installers over specify the size of the system required for your property, the more panels applied to your roof the greater the profit for the installer. An oversized system means that you aren’t able to use all the energy that has been generated by the solar system. This won’t be the case if you able to pay for using the system based on the amount of energy actually used. That means, whether the system is too big or too small for your property, it’s no longer an issue for you to worry about.

Finding the right solar financing partner and converting to a solar services model removes the large capital outlay costs and provides the hassle-free operational and maintenance services while receiving cheaper energy.

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About Author

Zweli Sikhakhane is a Web Developer, Digital Marketing Manager and Contributor at BizNis Africa. Sikhakhane began his Digital career at AVATAR Agency, them moved to Maverick Minds, a digital agency based in Johannesburg CBD. Sikhakhane moved to Red Quarter, a digital marketing and events agency Sikhakhane is a highly motivated and enthusiastic professional and a team player who would like to grow grow in the digital industry.

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