The popular Tesla Powerwall battery has finally made it's way to the shores of South Africa and as the world gradually makes the changes towards renewable energy, the search for ways to save money never stops. With the investment of solar panels it's not just about using sustainable and clean energy, it's also about gaining independence and making the most of your rands. In this article we'll be looking at a rough estimation on how much you can save with the Powerwall, along with the available packages. Given that every home has different needs, we'll try to go into as much detail as possible.
The Numbers from Eskom
As of the beginning of April, Eskom has implemented a 9.4% hike in electricity tariffs, basing it largely on the steps they took to prevent load shedding. If history is anything to go by, it's only obvious that tariffs will continue to escalate. Even if by some miracle Eskom cuts back, it won't be nearly enough to make a difference. So the only way to really look at this from an objective point of view is to consider the average electricity bills a household gets every month, which is between R1500 and R2000 within big cities.
The time frame we'll be using is 10 years, because this is the warranty Tesla Powerwall places on it's battery. This comes down to a lump sum of about R240 000.00 per household. However, this doesn't take into consideration further increases, which can easily add another R20 000 to this number. But for the sake of staying positive we'll keep it at R240 000.00.
The Numbers from Tesla
The official prices for Tesla Powerwall batteries in South Africa have been released and they've been divided into 4 different kits. Let's start with kit no. 2, which includes:
- Tesla Powerwall Lithium Battery 6.4kW
- Inverter 5kW
- 12 Solar Panels 260W Tier 1 A Grade
- AC and DC cabling and Components
- Roof Mounting Structure
Whether this package will take you off the grid depends on the size of your home and how you use electricity, but you can expect to pay around R192 660.00 (VAT incl). Now we have to break it down a bit, because even though Tesla puts 10 years on their batteries, the solar panels are good for 25 years. In other words, after ten years you'll only have to replace the batteries, which will cost about R70 000.
If you need a bigger package then kit no. 3 includes all of the above, but instead of 12 panels you get 20, which costs about R239 400.00. The battery replacement is going to cost the same after 10 years.
Now it's time to make the comparison between the two and see how much homeowners can stand to save. Within the period of 10 years, if you choose kit no. 3, you won't be saving much if there are no price hikes from Eskom. If you choose kit no.2 then you stand to save more than R40 000. But this is where it gets interesting, because we're only working on a 10 year basis. If we were to extend this period over 20 years in order to include the lifespan of the panels, your total cost will look something like this:
-Eskom: R480 000.00
-Solar: R309 400.00
The Bottom Line
Realistically, it's not a cheap move to implement either kit no. 2 or 3. But when you think long term it only makes sense. Consider that you'll be saving more than R150 000.00, you'll have more independence and you'll be part of the green energy change.