Going off the grid and switching to solar energy is an exciting decision for homeowners in South Africa.
Before diving into the world of solar, there are important steps you should take to prepare your home for this renewable energy transition.
By following this checklist, you can ensure a smooth and efficient transition to solar power while maximizing the benefits for your household.
1. Get an energy audit
• An energy audit is a great way to assess your home’s energy usage and identify areas where you can save energy.
• This will help you to determine how much solar power you need and how much money you can save by switching to solar.
• A qualified energy auditor will come to your home and measure your energy usage.
• They will also look at your appliances, insulation, and other factors that can affect your energy consumption.
• Once they have completed the audit, they will provide you with a report that will outline your energy usage and recommend ways to save energy.
You could also attempt to get a brief overview of your energy consumption by doing the following:
• Gather your electricity account statements for the past 12 months.
• Look for the following information on your account statements:
o Your average electricity usage for each month.
o The total amount of electricity you used for the year.
o The cost of your electricity for the year.
• Calculate your average electricity usage per day.
o To do this, divide your total electricity usage for the year by the number of days in the year.
• Compare your electricity usage to the average usage for South African households.
o You can find this information on the website of the South African Department of Energy.
Here is an example of how to do an energy audit on your electricity account statement:
• Let’s say that your average electricity usage for the past 12 months is 800 kWh per month.
• This means that you used a total of 9,600 kWh of electricity for the year.
• The average electricity usage for South African households is 6,000 kWh per year.
• This means that you are using 50% more electricity than the average South African household.
2. Insulate your home.
• Insulation helps to keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, which can reduce your energy consumption.
• This is especially important if you live in a hot climate, as solar panels will be less efficient if your home is too hot.
• There are a few different types of insulation available, so you will need to choose the type that is best suited for your home.
• You can also hire a contractor to insulate your home for you.
3. Upgrade your appliances
• Older appliances are often less energy-efficient than newer models.
• Upgrading your appliances can help you to save energy and money, even if you don’t switch to solar.
• When you are looking for new appliances, be sure to choose models that are Energy Star-certified.
• These appliances have been shown to be more energy-efficient than non-certified models.
4. Install smart thermostats and lighting
• Smart thermostats and lighting can help you to control your home’s energy usage remotely.
• This can help you to save energy, especially if you are away from home for long periods of time.
• Smart thermostats can be programmed to adjust your home’s temperature based on your schedule.
• Smart lighting can be turned on and off remotely, so you can make sure that your lights are only on when you need them.
5. Plant trees
• Trees can help to shade your home in the summer, which can reduce your cooling costs.
• They can also help to block the wind, which can reduce your heating costs.
• When you are planting trees, be sure to choose trees that will provide shade in the summer and not block the sun in the winter.
Switching to solar can be a great way to save money, reduce your environmental impact, and increase your home’s value.
However, before you can switch to solar, there are a few things you need to do to make sure your home is ready.
By following the checklist in this article, you can make your home more energy-efficient and reduce your energy consumption. This will make it more cost-effective to switch to solar in the future.
If you are ready to take the next step towards solar energy, contact with us if you have any questions, on
087 109 2000.
Alternatively if not Solar Clarity, we recommend that you contact a solar installer in your area. They will be able to assess your home’s needs and help you to choose the right solar system for your budget.
Let’s wrap up
• Save money on your electricity bills
• Reduce your environmental impact
• Increase your home’s value
• Enjoy the benefits of solar energy sooner
Benefits of following the checklist
• You will be able to get a more accurate estimate of the cost of your solar system.
• You will be able to make sure that your home is properly prepared for solar panels.
• You will be able to enjoy the benefits of solar energy sooner.
I hope this checklist helps you on your journey to going solar!