Monthly Archives

November 2016

The Real Cost of Being Off the Grid

By | Energy Partners Knowledge Base | No Comments

Want to be off-grid? Are you sitting down?

Recently, Eskom once again demonstrated their lack of planning when it came to light that their Ingula pumped storage scheme is delayed and already well over budget, with costs spiraling from R8.9bn to R36bn. These costs will inevitably be passed on to consumers. Whenever we’re faced with an unnecessarily high electricity bill, or huddled together by candlelight due to another bout of loadshedding, it’s easy to whisper through clenched teeth: “I want to be off the grid.” While it might sound especially tempting when you’re feeling the strain on your budget or plunged in darkness, it’s not actually the cheapest solution. Here’s why:
It’s true that home solar energy solutions are becoming more and more affordable.

But the massive amount of solar panels and storage batteries you would need to power your home 100% independently, will come at a steep price.

In smaller systems, the panels and inverter account for the majority of the costs, while with off-grid systems, the cost of the batteries becomes the major component.

Here’s the catch: panels and inverters are designed to last 20 or 10 years respectively. Unfortunately lead-based batteries, which are commonly used for off-grid solutions, only have a typically lifespan of three to five years.

That means that you are not getting a permanent solution, but rather one where the bulk of the investment will need to be replaced regularly.
We’ve crunched some numbers and found that costs increase sharply after 70% grid independence, as detailed below:

off-grid_graph

The optimal home solution sits at around 60% -70% energy-independency when you consider the amount of energy created, versus the cost to do so.

There are, however, ways to mitigate the costs involved with being off-grid and going predominantly solar. A back-up generator is a good idea for times when the sun is in hiding (although probably not the best option if living green is your primary motivation for grid independence). Then, quite simply, by using energy sparingly – especially in winter.
Our best advice is to be an educated buyer, as too many suppliers promise returns without considering your home’s unique features and setting.

Transparency is essential to building a renewable energy culture in South Africa. This is why we’re dedicated to bust any solar myths floating around, and tailor our renewable energy solutions to each home we visit*.

*Consultations are free, with our quotes obligation free as well. Possibly the best small print ever? Let’s chat!

Testimonial: Stephanie Stellenbosch

By | Energy Partners Home Solutions Stories | No Comments

Energy Partners Home Solutions have installed three systems at our home to date!

The first is a battery backup solution that provides our home with power protects our electrical appliances and ensures our security is always on during power outages. 

Stellenbosch Solar Panels House

The second system is a three phase grid-tied system that supplies our entire house with green energy when the sun shines.

Heat pump & solar panels with mountain

The third option is a heat pump system that has reduced our hot water cost with 70%.

In all of their work they have been professional and quick to react to any problem. After our geyser burst they were ready to install a new system within a few days of calling them.

Henri, the sales consultant was really helpful in managing the various installations and always being available for any questions.

Congrats on your earth friendly home Stephanie! Want follow in their footsteps? Get in touch here.

HOMEMAKERS Expo Competition Winners 2016

By | Energy Partners Home Solutions Stories | No Comments

HOMEMAKERS EXPO Competition Winners

What an awesome story, a prize giving with a beautiful twist!

We ran a competition at the Cape Town HOMEMAKERS Expo, with the Energy Partners Home Solutions heat pump & tank as the grand prize. This included a 3.4kw heat pump with a 300l storage tank valued at R35 625.

The lucky winner was Mr. Zahoor Sunday from Landsdowne. When our Energy Experts contacted Mr. Sunday to arrange for the installation of his grand prize – we were humbled to hear this beautiful story:

Mr. Sunday and his brothers were helped raised by their uncle Mr. Muhammed and his wife. They spent a lot of time at their uncle’s house and they were like second parents. Mr. Muhammed continues to play a very important role in his life, especially after both of his parents passed away. He will always consult with Mr. Muhammed about big life decisions and his uncle will always give him guidance and share his wisdom.

Mr. Sunday asked us to install the EPHS prize in Mr. Muhammed’s home, to thank him for all that he has done.

heat pump winners

We feel incredibly privileged to have played a small role in paying it forward. Congratulations to the Muhammeds!

Renewable Energy Home Installations Highlights 2016

By | Energy Partners Home Solutions Stories | No Comments

2016 has been an incredible year for us, being able to offer homeowners an easy switch to energy independence – whilst lightening our carbon load on the earth. Three home installations that we particularly enjoyed include a Stellenbosch home in May, a renovated home in Campsbay in August, as well as a Val de Vie home in September. Have a look at the beauty of renewable energy (click the images to enlarge)!

Testimonial: Mark Allderman

By | Energy Partners Home Solutions Stories | No Comments

My wife and I have a renovated home in Camps Bay and were looking to reduce our electricity bill, become less dependent on the Eskom/ City of Cape Town supply, and become more sustainable in our energy usage. With the rapid improvements in PV generation, and particularly storage technology, solutions are becoming more and more accessible.

We contacted Energy Partners Home Solutions on the advice of a friend in the industry, and Henri contacted us immediately to do an assessment and provide a proposal.

We were impressed with the thoroughness of the proposal in that our current needs were assessed in detail (our electricity bill was estimated within a few % points accuracy) and the proposal was presented in a clear and engaging way.

We elected to proceed with both the PV installation as well as the geyser and heat-pump installation in 2 phases.

allderman solar panels

The work was done efficiently to an impressive level of quality: all the components were carefully and neatly installed.

We were also kept abreast with progress on a regular basis, so we were never left with unanswered questions. The staff that we met were all extremely professional, and seemed to be a very happy team, which is great to see.

The hand-over of the overall solution was done extremely professionally, with a step-by-step walkthrough completed, and our (sometimes painfully detailed) questions answered. The app provided works well and is a key addition to the overall solution. We are ecstatic with our energy solution, and are hoping it provides us with years of trouble free service.

Allderman solar panels

Congrats on your earth friendly home Alldermans! Want follow in Mark’s footsteps? Get in touch here.

Our Products Video: Renewable Energy in Your Home

By | Energy Partners Knowledge Base | No Comments

In September 2016, we released our home energy solutions products video. This video showcases our products and how each unit will fit into your home. It also explains how the full modular system works during different load generation capacities.

If you were interested in a renewable energy solution for your home, fill out this quick form, and a consultant will get in touch. We’ll visit your home, do a full energy analysis and a quote with the best, unique, energy solution for your house. 0 obligations.

Renewable energy solutions designed to reduce your electricity bill whilst saving the Earth. Want to chat to us? We’d love to meet! Click here.

Home Energy Efficiency with BuildAid

By | Energy Partners in the Press | No Comments

buildaid
One of our engineers, Arno Middelberg, spoke to Graham Alexandra from BuildAid on Mix 93.8 FM. They discussed how to use energy efficiently around the house, as well as renewable alternatives.

Have a listen to practical answers asked by listeners. These include solar panel durability in hailstorms and exactly how heat pumps work. (Hint: They work like aircons in reverse). Find out how the Energy Partners Home Solutions modular system works, and financing options available.

They discussed different options available to home owners, from solar PV panels, geyser alternatives, inverters, batteries, and the Icon Home Energy Hub.

Finally, if you were interested in finding out more from one of our energy consultants, get in touch!