The City of Cape Town encourages all home and business owners with rooftop solar photovoltaic installations to register both grid-tied and off-grid small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) systems.
In an effort to pre-empt national legislation, which will come into effect and require registration, the City has issued a notice requiring registration of solar PV units on or before 31 May 2019.
There is no charge for registering, but a non-compliance fee is payable after the deadline. “Your PV system may also be removed if it does not meet the prescribed installation standards,” the City acknowledged.
According to the City, one of the motivating factors for the regulation is around the safe and responsible use of clean energy. “All solar PV energy systems, which can generate electricity and power your home must comply with the City of Cape Town's regulations and be registered prior to installation,” stated the City.
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Where the solar PV system has already been installed residents have been requested to start the registration process immediately.
Standalone solar PV units as well as grid-tied systems connected to the City of Cape Town's electricity network must be registered and comply with the City's requirements.
Notably, the registration does not apply to solar geezers (solar water heaters) as these systems do not generate electricity.
The regulation of solar PV systems that feed into a grid and standalone units is to ensure the safety of municipal workers and the general public in terms of proper installation of the systems.
The City points out that poorly installed units can cause household fires and that “the safety and quality of the entire grid may be compromised if your installation is not compliant”. The City is also using this requirement as an opportunity to “grow and maintain the city's electrical infrastructure” as there is a “need to plan with knowledge of all generation systems on the network”.
Failure to register units will result in being charged a service fee for the removal of the solar PV connection and the electricity supply may also be disconnected, warned the City.