Cash for Power: Cape Town to pay residents for their excess solar power

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

Cape Town has become the first city in South Africa to enable residential households to earn cash for power from their solar PV generation systems with Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis announcing that the first round of applications is now open until the 8th of March 2024.

Households can earn actual cash from selling their excess solar power to the municipality, going beyond the existing automatic crediting of municipal bills.

The initiative forms part of the City’s adopted Energy Strategy which outlines how it plans to end load shedding. According to the Mayor, the municipality is planning for four stages of load shedding protection by 2026 (in the short-term) by transitioning from Eskom to a decentralised supply of reliable, cost-effective, carbon neutral energy from a diverse range of suppliers.

We will buy as much solar power as households and businesses can sell to us under the Cash for Power programme. Households can also volunteer for our Power Heroes programme to remotely switch off geysers at peak times in a bid to avoid a full stage of load-shedding. And in another first, we are enabling businesses to sell power to each other and wheel it across the grid, which will add 350MW of decentralised power to Cape Town’s grid in time,” he said.

Short-term load shedding mitigation up to 2026 will be achieved largely through a mix of Steenbras Hydro Plant (1 – 2 stages); 500MW of dispatchable energy (up to four stages from 06:00 – 22:00 daily where possible); and demand management programmes such as Power Heroes and Large Power Users (LPUs) curtailment.

Overall, Cape Town is planning to add up to one gigawatt of independent power supply to end load-shedding in the city over time, with the first 650MW of this within five years, including enough to protect against four load shedding stages by 2026.

How to apply to get Cash for Power

The Cash for Power initiative is now being offered to existing residential customers, with applications now open until the 8th of March 2024.

Rates payers wishing to only offset their electricity and rates accounts do not need to apply and will automatically be compensated on authorisation of their grid-tied SSEG system with feed-in. If customers are interested in going above and beyond this, they can register and get cash for their power – where any remaining credit will accumulate until it reaches a certain amount with the City paying out.

Cash for Power applications are open for all residential customers on the home user tariff with an approved grid tied SSEG system and bi-directional AMI meter to feed power back into the grid.

Interested parties are required to first be registered as a service provider on both the City Supplier Database and the National Treasury Web Based Central Supplier Database (CSD.  

Cash for Power applications for this round should be submitted to

Any submissions received after this date will be kept for the next round, with the date to be announced after this first round closes.

As per Supply Chain rules, successful Cash for Power sellers will contract with the City for a period of three years after appointment.