When we launched our Icon Home Energy Hub in April of 2016, our MD, Alan Matthews, spoke to Biznis Africa about this unique South African home solution. Alan explained why we embarked on developing the product to assist South African home owners with a solution for controlling their energy spend, especially when subjected to unreliable supply during load shedding by Eskom. Read some excerpts from the article below.
“Like our corporate clients, they too were at the mercy of tariff increases. But, unlike corporate clients, they did not have teams of engineers and strong financial skills to draw on.”
This is why we spent the last 18 months creating this unique solution for homeowners, he says. “Our solution enables home owners to take control of their energy, by supplying a set of reliable products that form a full home energy solution which combines lighting, water heating and renewable energy.”
The Energy Partner’s solution enables a family sized home to save up to 70% of its electricity bill and earn from a 16% return on their investment.
The Icon Home Energy Hub consists of two components: the Energy Hub Inverter and the Lithium Ion Phosphate Battery. “The inverter is a critical component in any solar energy solution. Its main function is to take the electricity generated (DC) from the solar panels and convert it into an energy form that can be utilised in the home (AC). The inverter also integrates with the battery to allow all excess generated energy to be stored in the batteries for later usage.”
The most recognisable global competitor to the Icon is the Tesla Powerwall battery, paired with a Solar edge inverter, he says. “When this product was launched in South Africa recently it received a lot of attention, but the Tesla solution is focussed around the battery – which is 6.4 kWh. Our solution includes a smaller battery, but also includes a heat pump and an extra-large hot water tank. This means that it delivers almost double the saving and costs less.”
He says that besides the energy bill reduction benefit, the solution also reduces the homeowner’s carbon footprint and environmental impact and makes the user independent of the grid. “The user can power essential loads for several hours, even if the grid is off, a feature that is simply not possible with grid-tied inverters.”
The solution is extremely flexible, for example, it can be installed without batteries and then 3.6 kWh or 6 kWh of battery capacity can be added as needed. It also includes a remote monitoring platform allowing the user to monitor the status of their system directly on their mobile app.”
Read the full Biznis Africa article here.