Businesses and households earned over R25.8 million in City of Cape Town Cash for Power programme, here’s how you can earn too

The Cash for Power programme is part of the City’s plans to end load shedding. Picture: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

The Cash for Power programme is part of the City’s plans to end load shedding. Picture: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 27, 2024


The City of Cape Town said businesses and households within its metro have already earned over R25.8 million under its Cash for Power programme since the start of the 2022/23 financial year.

The City of Cape Town is the first metro to buy excess solar PV power from small-scale generators in exchange for municipal bill credits and cash.

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said key changes to policy have enabled power sellers to earn credits against their municipal bills and go beyond that to receive cash for power fed back into the grid.

Previously, sellers could only be credited against their electricity bill up to a zero balance.

Cash for Power payments summary - July 2023 – February 1, 2024. Picture: City of Cape Town

From February 1, 2024, a total of 1,461 sellers are benefiting from the programme as part of the City’s plans to end load shedding.

Of the sellers, 869 are residential and 592 are commercial/industrial.

“We are transitioning this city’s energy mix to a far more decentralised supply of reliable, cost-effective and increasingly carbon-neutral energy that will come from a diverse range of suppliers. That must be the future for our country too, and Cape Town is showing the way. The most exciting part is that residents and businesses are going to play a crucial role in helping us to end load shedding by working together as Team Cape Town.

“The City will buy as much solar power as households and businesses can sell to us under the Cash for Power programme, with 25 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) already bought as of February 1, this year,” Hill-Lewis said.

He said in the 2022/23 financial year, the City paid more than R10.5 million to Capetonians for their power, and in the current financial year it has already paid over R8.8 million.

“That’s a total of R19.4 million just on the feed-in tariff alone, plus a further R6.4 million when including the 25c per kWh incentive we’ve added to encourage participation.

“I consider this some of the best money we’ve ever spent and cannot wait to see how this programme expands even more over time. Not only are we adding crucial kilowatts to our grid at a cheaper cost than Eskom’s supply, but we are also putting money back in the pockets of Capetonians. That is how you democratise energy and truly put power in the hands of the people,” Hill-Lewis said.

Municipal bills are credited automatically with the option to apply to earn cash beyond a zero balance. Businesses have been able to earn cash since June 2023, with a first applications window open until March 8, for residents to also earn cash.

Mayoral committee member for energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen confirmed cash is now being offered to existing residential customers.

“The first phase of applications is now open until March 8. It is important to note that customers 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 and then the City will pay you out,” Van Reenen said.

The City of Cape Town said it plans on adding up to one gigawatt of independent power supply to end load shedding over time, with the first 650MW of this within five years, including enough to protect against four stages of Eskom load shedding by 2026.

The City said its 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 6am – 10pm daily where possible); and demand management programmes such as Power Heroes and Large Power Users (LPUs) curtailment.

Demand management programmes:

Under way: Large Power Users (LPUs) curtailment

Newly launched: Power Heroes: a voluntary programme for households and small commercial customers that enables remote switching off of power-hungry appliances such as geysers and pool pumps.

New: IPP 3 tender issued: The total capacities envisaged 300 MW of dispatchable/ reserve power capacity and 200 MW of self-dispatchable power capacity. The contract period is three years and is subject to a Section 33 process and the closing date for tender submissions is April 8, 2024.

Under way: embedded IPP renewable energy (200MW) – to diversify electricity suppliers for more cost-effective electricity.

Under way: dispatchable IPP Programme (up to 500MW) – a key load shedding mitigation mechanism, with 10-year power contracts for dispatchable power plants.

Under way: wheeling (up to 350MW) – a City-enabled means of third parties selling electricity to each other using existing grid infrastructure.

Under way: City-owned SSEG (up to 20MW) from the Atlantis plant (7MW) and solar PV at City facilities (13MW).

How to apply to get Cash for Power

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. For more information, visit:

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), accessible from the links below:

City of Cape Town’s Supplier Database registration:

National Treasury Web-Based Central Supplier Database (CSD) registration:

Any submissions received after March 8, 2024, will be kept for the next round, with the date to be announced.

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

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