Power up your sectional title unit
Want to power up your sectional title unit?
President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined a number of steps to deal with the country’s energy crisis in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 9 February 2023. Economists expect over 250 days of load-shedding in 2023, even more than in 2022. Rumours of a complete blackout started circulating last year and insurers are reportedly planning on removing damage cover for electricity grid failure.
Two of the initiatives proposed by Government include the appointment of a Minister of Electricity in the Presidency and the declaration of a state of emergency. Although the details of these plans are still unclear, they are reportedly aimed at preventing a complete national blackout in South Africa.
However, two things that were made clear were the following:
- An end to the energy crisis was expected to take some time; and
- Government was planning to support households and businesses with solar power installations.
Many home and business owners have already adopted solar and battery storage solutions as a way to secure a more reliable power supply. The move to solar energy also boosted property values and energy savings.
At STS we provide efficient energy solutions that help the entire community scheme benefit from a solar installation. We still propose the body corporate entering an electricity service and supply agreement with us is the ideal way for the entire community scheme to access solar power.
However, installing solar for the entire community scheme may not be feasible or desirable in some instances. The newly announced tax incentives for rooftop solar will also only apply to individuals, not entire bodies corporate.
How can individual unit owners gain energy savings and security in these instances?
Unit owners would have to apply to the body corporate for permission to have solar panels installed on the roofs of their individual units.
This article by Paddocks proposes that in such instances a special or unanimous resolution be passed at a general meeting to give unit owners exclusive use rights to the roofs of their units (which are otherwise common property). The article also provides guidance and suggestions of what the rule should cover to help trustees keep an eye on this process.
Once this rule has been passed, unit owners can follow the following five steps to get the body corporate’s permission to have solar panels installed on the roofs of their sectional title units:
Please keep in mind that the process to obtain the body corporate’s permission to install solar panels may vary, depending on the sectional title complex. It is always wise to consult the body corporate or your managing agent for your scheme’s specific requirements when you decide to power up your unit.