BY: Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb Senior News Journalist.
Discovery Bank has become the latest local bank to provide solar financing for consumers, with the service offered through the digital-only player’s partnership with solar solutions provider Rubicon.
According to a statement, Discovery Bank clients can take advantage of flexible finance packages for solar and backup systems for their homes, at interest rates from prime minus-2% over 72 months.
The app-based bank joins big four Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank and First National Bank in offering solar energy asset finance, as Eskom battles to provide consistent power supply.
This has seen more South African businesses and homes invest in renewable energy, to produce their own power, as the country continues to grapple with worsening load-shedding.
However, the high price of solar systems has resulted in them being out of reach for the average South African household.
According to estimates, a hybrid solar solution with eight solar panels and two batteries could cost between R115 000 and R120 000.
An off-grid solar system, which allows consumers to become their own power source, comes at an estimated cost of almost R250 000.
“We’re pleased to launch a financing solution that enables our clients to embrace solar, with the help of Rubicon.”
Rubicon provides a range of energy, e-mobility and sustainable buildings technology solutions. These include solar energy generation and storage technologies, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, lighting solutions, building infrastructure monitoring, as well as UPS and power factor systems.
While government has introduced a rooftop solar tax incentive, the rebate is only up to a maximum of R15 000.
The expense of solar power has seen fraudulent practices, with an increase in the sale of counterfeit and substandard solar panels offered by unregistered suppliers, according to experts.
Discovery Bank says the offering was launched initially to select clients and will be available more broadly over the coming weeks, as it scales up.
Rubicon and Discovery Bank guide clients by overseeing the process, from initial consultation to installation within three weeks of applying for the finance. The finance model allows clients to own their solar asset, versus renting it.
Rick Basson, CEO of Rubicon, comments: “We are thrilled to partner with a fellow proudly South African company that shares our commitment to a sustainable future.”
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