NERSA has been forced to beat a hasty retreat on its ill-conceived proposed rules that would have required private owners of rooftop solar panels and stand-by generators to register these installations with it.
On 26 April 2018 Nersa published for public comment draft rules for the registration of small-scale embedded generation with a capacity of less than 1MW. This was met with overwhelming and widespread resistance with comment that government is over-reaching. OUTA went on to object and state that “South Africans who have invested in energy saving devices should not be penalised for reducing electricity demand on the national grid nor should they be taxed for becoming environmentally conscious and pursuing energy self-sufficiency.”
Suffice to say, taxing free natural energy sources like the sun cannot be controlled or subjected to registration processes. It is clear that the wave and new direction of energy self-sufficiency poses a significant threat to Eskom’s future, due to the drop in electricity sales volumes, and that Government’s unnecessary interference is likely to attract a major legal challenge on all fronts to the constitutionality of such actions.
All round, it’s good news for South Africans, for your pocket and for the environment.