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Browse frequently asked questions from the categories below
Can Ordinary Consumers Afford Solar PV?
Until about five years ago, solar, or photovoltaic (PV), systems were often too costly for average homeowners, requiring a significant upfront investment. However, the cost of PV components has rapidly dropped by up to 80% over the past decade, and new consumer-friendly models, like lease-to-own and solar-as-a-service, have emerged, eliminating upfront costs.
What does Wetility offer?
The ZOLA or PACE system connects to the grid but can function independently during outages. It generates, stores, and automatically uses energy, saving costs and ensuring power supply. The solution includes monocrystalline solar panels, the hybrid energy storage system with inverter, batteries, and switchgear, monitored by a Smart Meter. Solar energy flows through the distribution board to power the home. Excess energy charges batteries. The We-X interface enables monitoring via mobile app (for the PACE only). Wetility offers maintenance and financing options for payment flexibility.
Which panels, inverter and batteries do you guys use? Are they good?
We use Solar PV from Tier 1 manufacturers (e.g., Longi), as well as hybrid inverter that are NRS-097 certified for grid compliance (e.g., GoodWe). We deploy Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries to ensure safety and durability (e.g., Pylontech or BSL)
What is the lifespan of solar panels?
Our Tier 1 panels come with a 25-year warranty and degrade by 0.5% annually, maintaining 87.5% capacity after 25 years.
What is the lifespan of batteries?
Our standard residential PACE system comes with a 10-year warranty. The Lithium-ion batteries we use are rated for 6000 full equivalent cycles and offer a strong shelf life. Typically, they degrade to around 70 to 80% of their original capacity after 12 to 13 years, depending on factors like ambient temperature. Battery replacement is straightforward, and costs are decreasing by over 5% annually, while newer models have higher life ratings. Our Wetility lease options can also include battery replacement.
The STRIDE system comes with a 5-year warranty. The Lithium-ion batteries we use are rated for 3000+ full equivalent cycles and offer a strong shelf life.
Is solar energy sufficient for off-grid living, especially with appliances like stoves?
Solar power helps with stability and cost but isn't ideal for high-energy devices. Solar can support stoves via grid or backup during spikes, yet grid power remains reliable and affordable for cooking. A hybrid solar-grid system offers cost-effectiveness and reliability.
How do Grid-Tied, Hybrid, and Off-grid solar installations differ?
Grid-Tied: Solar panels, inverter for energy conversion, no battery storage.
Hybrid: Solar panels, inverter for energy conversion, includes battery storage.
Off-Grid: Solar panels and battery storage only (might also include a diesel generator), no utility connection, relies solely on generated solar electricity.
Does Wetility provide complete off-grid solutions? Can systems be upgraded with more panels and batteries?
Wetility suggests starting with a hybrid approach before going completely off-grid. A hybrid system combines solar and grid power, ensuring energy for power-hungry appliances and storing backup power. Solar charges the battery during the day, providing 6 to 8 hours of nighttime power. This reduces grid reliance by up to 60%. Opting for hybrid offers power security and immediate cost savings. It also allows gradual scalability based on changing needs and environmental factors, leading to efficient, long-term energy improvement.
Is solar limited to daylight hours?
Solar technology has advanced, enabling performance on cloudy days. Generated power can run appliances and efficient storage (batteries) stores excess energy for nighttime or loadshedding use.
What capacity is suitable for me?
Determining required panels and storage isn't straightforward. It depends on household size, appliance usage, and energy consumption. Expert planning and design are crucial to match your system to your needs.
What's the installation duration? How long is the entire process?
Installation wraps up in 2 days or fewer. From customer inquiry, credit check to handover, our team usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for an average residential setup, depending on customer availability.
Can the lease period be altered? Can I purchase the leased system? What if I move homes?
Yes, you can buy the system without penalty during the lease term. The price is determined by our finance team based on replacement cost minus degradation.
If you relocate and wish to move the system, there's a cost for uninstallation/installation, quoted upon request. Alternatively, a leased system can be transferred to the new premises owner if they meet credit checks and agree to continue the lease.
I may want to own the system at some point later. What are my options, and is there a balloon payment after subscription?
You have the flexibility to exercise your option to purchase at any point in time. We understand the importance of affordability, and we’ve structured the purchase price towards the back end of the contract to be both low and accessible, with no balloon payments.
This means that, should you decide to own the solar system, you won’t encounter any sudden financial burdens. Instead, the purchase terms have been designed to smoothly align with your budget, making it an affordable transition to full ownership.
Our commitment is to ensure that you have control over your energy future while enjoying the financial benefits of solar power. Whether you choose to exercise your option to purchase early or later in the contract, we’re here to support you every step of the way.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the details of the purchase option further, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re eager to assist you in making the best choice for your energy needs and financial goals.
At any time, you can also extend your subscription by speaking with our solar energy advisors, who will be at your disposal to ensure that your selected Beast Bundle is optimally fit for your power needs. You will always be able to add additional batteries, panels and / or system and technology upgrades.
How often is maintenance done?
Maintenance is scheduled for once a year.
I booked in a consultation online, when are you guys coming to my house?
Our consultations are conducted virtually, and are based on location-specific proposals our expert team design for each customer.
I have been quoted on a 2.5kWp system, can I get a bigger system? Is this possible?
Yes, the system quoted is typically the minimum system required to keep your essential devices powered up while the sun is up and then for 6-8 hours afterwards or during a power cut. However, some customers opt to power more devices and/or provide power for longer periods and to accrue more savings on their utility bills. Such options are available on wetility.energy or by informing the team via email@example.com
When do I start seeing my savings?
Most of the energy you produce is used right away. You will not see it on your municipal utility bill because it never touched the grid, so your municipal utility cannot see it. Rest assured that you will start seeing savings on your utility bill from day one.
What benefits are there for referrals?
We have launched a > referral programme < that covers the array and scale of various kind referrals we may receive. Each successful referral that leads to an installation receives R 500.
We're also likely to have a business referral program, where businesses that refer their customers to Wetility also benefit once they reach a certain number of referrals.
If I install, can I do your marketing? Are you open to partnerships?
Wetility is always open to partnerships. Please send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
What permits and what compliance documents are required?
Wetility makes an application to your municipality or Eskom on your behalf asking for permission to connect your system to the grid. To get it, Wetility submits paperwork to the municipal utility. This is your application for interconnection. Inspection must be completed and an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (CoC) must be issued by the Wetility installer and permits must be approved by your municipality or Eskom before the application can be approved.
Accreditations the Wetility’s installers have on the installation of solar solutions are for:
- PV Green Card certification
- Engineer (Electrical, Structural, Civil) certifications including Pr Eng, Pr Tech Eng
- Red seal electrical licensed technicians
- Wireman Licensed electricians (Cat 1 Installation electricians and Cat 2 Master installation electricians only
- General and public liability insurance (Firedart)
What happens after the life of the products, beyond 25 years?
Wetility will be launching a second-life and disposition plan for our systems in the near future, to set out a sustainable approach to use of the system. Equipment such as phones and laptops currently product 90% of the Lithium-ion batteries disposed yearly, silicon (the key material in PV panels) are also quite commonly used in many products. The industry continues to produce innovation ways to reuse and recycle similar systems to systems we use.
Why do you mainly offer the PACE with PV panels? Can I install the backup system first, then get panels afterwards?
The deployment of batteries and PV panels have emissions implications due to factors such as material, manufacturing and logistics. However, this is only counteracted by the production and use of renewable energy from the sun on the premises by the PV, as a substitute for the mainly coal-based energy from the utility. Thus, it is important for installations to be fitted with panels to generate clean power.
80% of South Africa's grid energy is sourced from coal, which has some of the highest GHG emissions and water usages, therefore, there is a significant reduction realised by the scalable use of Solar across the under-served residential and light commercial segments.
We do, however, understand that some sectional titles and other living arrangements have to proceed with a solution for loadshedding until roof spacing is sorted out with the Homeowners Association, or landlords in the case of renters. Hence, we offer a backup solution to alleviate these instances.