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FAQ2019-02-20T11:43:36+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

What is solar technology’s impact on property value?2018-10-22T12:37:10+00:00

It significantly increases it – adding to the cost benefit of ‘having a loyal paying tenant on one’s roof for the 20 years’. Indeed, the fact that Solar PV Systems reduces the cost of electricity, naturally increases the value of your property compared to energy inefficient spaces – leading to its quicker selling or leasing. Additionally, it is more attractive to cost-conscious and environmentally aware potential buyers, tenants, and clients; particularly given the current context of rising electricity costs and eco-responsibility.

Are the solar systems scalable?2018-10-22T12:48:41+00:00

Absolutely. Our systems embody purposeful modular design, allowing for a small system to be initially installed, with more added in time, to increase overall capacity. Here the ever-increasing global financial viability of improved storage solutions, which will peak in the relatively near future, is important to note. When it does, contemporary enhancements will be provided to clients by RBN at no cost, in leveraging the greater savings of tomorrow’s technology when it becomes available.

Are there tax benefits?2018-10-22T12:49:16+00:00

There are indeed. Income Tax Act 58 of 1962, Part 12B as amended, allows companies to do full depreciation in year 1, on purchasing the system

Can one feed back into the grid?2018-10-22T12:49:40+00:00

Increasingly Yes. Certain municipalities, such as Cape Town, purchases excess electricity produced by our system; and it is widely believed that the other main municipalities imminently will follow suit, as part of securing consistent energy supply. This ultimately increases the financial viability of your system even more.

Are Solar PV panels weather resistant?2018-10-22T12:50:11+00:00

Yes. The solar PV panels are designed with South African conditions in mind, to withstand hail and severe weather conditions.

This is ensured by using only Tier 1 supplier PV Panels; assuring outstanding quality, reliability and efficiency.

Do solar installations interfere with current power lines/switches?2018-10-22T12:50:38+00:00

No, they do not. Here, part of the end-of-installation package is a Certificate of Compliance (CoC); which of course depends on having an existing CoC before work begins.

What are the system’s location and maintenance requirements?2018-10-22T12:50:57+00:00

Solar panels are erected on clients’ premises. Their exact location depends on the building or structure, but in general they are installed on the roof. For this, structural sign-off is first obtained to confirm that the roof can deal with the load. In the unlikely eventuality of a roof unable to do so, or if there’s insufficient roof space to justify a client’s consumption profile, carport, ground-mount and other alternative mounting solutions are explored.

Is there power while installation occurs?2018-10-22T12:51:35+00:00

Yes – except for a short break in power when the switch-over is completed – all expertly managed by our team of project managers. Switch-overs can also be undertaken after-hours if required; and no one leaves the site without power being fully restored first.

What is a solar panel’s expected lifespan?2018-10-22T12:52:15+00:00

Solar PV Panels have a performance warranty of 25 years; but their actual lifespan can extend up to 50 years.

What is the impact of load shedding?2018-10-22T12:52:48+00:00

Installation of solar panels still provides for connectivity to the grid. This allows key flexibility in drawing from the grid when the system is not producing all of the required power. It does however mean that the whole system switches off in the case of a power outage.

Are there any hidden costs?2018-10-22T12:53:16+00:00

No! RBN carries the up-front costs of equipment, installation and City Council permit documentation, as well as all of the maintenance of the solar system throughout the equipment’s lifespan. Clients are only responsible for any legal review of contracts that they may desire – a generally relatively cost.

Who monitors the electricity production of the solar system?2018-10-22T12:56:31+00:00

RBN handles energy monitoring and data availability for all third parties. It is indeed in everyone’s interest to monitor and accurately track the energy produced by the system on a particular building, down to individual panels. Great care is thus taken in accurate data capture and reliable tracking, 24/7. Here, clients have superb direct data access via free online, smartphone, or tablet applications to track solar panel system performance.

What occurs on the sale of a property?2018-10-22T12:56:55+00:00

If clients sell their property, the remainder of their contract is transferred to the buyer; or clients can buy the system and include it in the sale of the property.

What happens at the end of the term?2018-10-22T12:57:14+00:00

When the agreement ends, one can either buy the system outright, have it removed, or leave the system in place and renew the agreement.

What factors influence the economic impact of a solar system?2018-10-22T12:57:40+00:00

Viability and success are determined by a number of factors, from geographic location, to specific energy consumption needs and existing supply tariffs, as well as slope and shading of roof structures or the ground where solar panels are mounted.

Will the panels work on older roof structures? Can roofs usually take the additional load?2018-10-22T12:58:05+00:00

Solar Panels weigh around 12-14kg/m2 which is typically well within the capacity for reasonable roof loads. Before proceeding with an installation however, RBN undertakes a structural assessment by a professional structural engineer. This ensures that the potential installation would safely be within the load-bearing capacity of the roof.

Nothing in life is free. How does RBN make its money?2018-10-22T12:58:40+00:00

You are absolutely right, nothing in life is free. As a client, you are effectively leasing the air space above your roof to us In return we help you reduce your carbon emissions and provide you with clean, green electricity – produced at a reduced rate. That is the ‘Quid Pro Quo’. RBN’s business model is based on generating long term cashflows on the assets we own and finance.

What if year 1 savings feel like they do not warrant the work involved?2018-10-22T12:59:07+00:00

Of course there is a reasonable amount of work undertaken to install a high quality solar PV system, but the huge client benefit is the lack of effort, cost, disruption or inconvenience to them or their business throughout. Ultimately, once the system is commissioned, the only client concern is noting the savings from their discounted electricity from the outset. And when one takes a forward-looking future-focused approach, compound interest as “the 8th wonder of the world’” truly reaps rewards. More than anything, history shows Eskom increases as aggressively above inflationary, while this system places ever-improving cost management in users’ hands.

Are solar prices going to drop quickly in the near future? Is it better to wait?2018-10-22T12:59:30+00:00

While it is likely that prices will continue to decline slowly, the big drop occurred in the past 10 years. It’s also important to note that clients’ reduced future tariffs are based on their CURRENT Eskom tariff. The longer one waits, the lower future savings may well be.

Is it wise to wait for better technology?2018-10-22T12:59:51+00:00

The same principle as cost (above) applies. Mythical ‘silver bullet’ technology, or massive short-term improvement, is seen in technological infancy and adolescence. Solar technology has long reached maturity and is globally pretty well established; with incremental cost and efficiency improvement – mainly due to manufacturing gains and enhancements – making massive changes in the short-term highly unlikely.

Be a visionary


Did you know that these top visionary companies use solar

Target Corporation (147.5 MW). The retailer currently has 300 buildings equipped with panels.

IKEA (44 MW). Ninety-one percent of IKEA stores are powered by the sun.

Apple (93.9 MW). Its global facilities are powered with 100 percent clean energy which includes solar power.