Based on its recent analysis of the solar rooftop photovoltaic (PV) industry, research company Frost & Sullivan has presented SolarAfrica with the 2016 South African Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in devising and robustly implementing a strong growth strategy.
“SolarAfrica's rooftop solar solution is poised to change the rooftop PV market in South Africa, with a business model that mitigates the challenges inherent in the product,” Frost & Sullivan senior research analyst Neeraj Mense said.
The company's alternative clean energy solution eliminates the need for a high capital investment as the company takes responsibility for investing, installing, operating and maintaining a PV system that will generate electricity for own use by the residential sectional titleholders.
Customers only pay a monthly service fee based on energy used. This cost is lower than the cost incurred on sourcing electricity from the national grid.
SolarAfrica's PV solution is not completely off-grid.
After using the available solar power, a complex will still source its remaining electricity needs from the existing municipal supply.
Solar panels will satisfy 25% of a complex's electricity needs, which will sufficiently meet smaller requirements during peak hours, as well as a large part of the baseload requirements for the body corporate.
"SolarAfrica's solution for the sectional title market in South Africa is a unique offering in a relatively uncontested market as State-owned Eskom has been its electricity suppliers," he said.
Mense adds that the company has persisted with its business model for sectional title owners, despite the many challenges posed by existing participants, as the growth in complexes and gated communities has resulted in a high-potential market.
SolarAfrica's solar service contracts can generate savings of 5% to 25% on energy costs currently incurred by a typical body corporate. These savings start immediately and future savings will accumulate over the tenure of the agreement.
SolarAfrica's customers benefit most from its dedicated technical and sales partner network, which is skilled in procuring, designing and installing PV systems that are aligned with its customers' demands.
The company's advanced remote monitoring and metering systems generate the latest consumption figures and patterns, while its software team constantly aims to improve its processes and delivery mechanisms to enhance the customer experience.
"SolarAfrica's ability to provide solutions that suit customers' load consumption profile enables it to present a very competitive price for its services. It has made concerted efforts to develop its brand to attract new customers, as well as expand in countries such as Ghana and Kenya."