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Will My Solar Installation Affect My Electrical COC?

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Will My Solar Installation Affect My Electrical COC?

Although solar (including hybrid energy backup) installations and equipment have been around for many years, it is a fairly new industry in South Africa. As such, regulation and legislation has not quite caught up. Currently there is no blanket regulation standard that covers the entirety of photovoltaic installations. Draft regulations are available as a guideline, however, at this time there is no specific "Certificate of compliance" that has been published. As a result, there is quite a bit of confusion pertaining to buying and selling of property where alternative energy, for example PV, has been installed.

In an attempt to provide clarity, The Techno Group compiled a couple of the most frequently asked questions:

How does alternative energy (PV, battery backup systems and generators) affect the issuing of an electrical Certificate of Compliance?

Equipment that is connected to the electrical installation and designed to operate as an alternative energy source (this includes grid tied PV which operates in parallel to the main grid), is regarded as a fixed or stationary appliance. Therefore, the equipment itself does not form part of the electrical compliance certificate. However, wiring and switchgear used to connect the equipment to the electrical installation does. There are specific requirements for different types of system connections, and general safety regulations would apply to positioning and selection of the equipment.

Do you need an electrical certificate of compliance for an alternative energy installation?

Yes, absolutely. The installer of the equipment must be able to issue a compliance certificate. This is to ensure that the installation is safe, as well as, within the scope of relevant regulations.

Does a PV or energy backup system have to be registered with council in order for property transfer to take place?

No, unless specifically required and stated in the offer to purchase. There is currently no legislation specifying that alternative energy systems have to be registered for property transfer. However, as is the case in Cape Town, there are certain council bylaws that require PV systems and alternative energy sources to be registered. If these systems are not registered, the owner of the installation may be fined, as well as the main electrical supply to the installation turned off. This does not apply to water heating systems where water is circulated through a solar collector panel or vacuum tubes.

How does the registration process work and what are the costs included?

The registration is submitted by the owner of the installation under guidance of the installer. The relevant registration documentation can be found online, depending on which district the installation exists. Although the registration is free, it requires supporting documentation which might incur additional costs. These documents could include wiring diagrams, electrical certificates of compliance as well as declarations by Engineering Council of South Africa registered individuals. If possible, this should be discussed with installers prior to commencement of installations.

Should you require any additional guidance regarding the installation of P.V. or back-up power systems, including a quotation, please feel free to contact The Techno Group on info@techno-group.co.za or 087 701 0250.

Author The Techno Group
Published 25 Feb 2022 / Views -
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