As a business owner it is likely you are always on the lookout for opportunities to make a passive income. In South Africa’s tumultuous economy, it is always a safe bet to have multiple streams of income and never to keep your eggs all in one basket. If you have a commercial or industrial building with roof space to spare, there is a passive income opportunity waiting to be unlocked! What might that be, you ask? Solar roof rental.

Your roof can make you a fixed monthly revenue without you having to lift a finger or invest a cent. A solar roof rental agreement is entered into with a solar developer, who then installs solar panels on your unused roof space to create a fixed stream of revenue for you, at no cost to you. It sounds too good to be true though, so what’s the catch. The reality is there is no catch. Let’s unpack all there is to know about solar roof rental in South Africa.

What is a solar roof rental agreement?

A solar roof rental agreement is a contract between a property owner and a solar energy company in which the company installs solar PV panels on the roof of the owner’s property and then pays the owner a fixed monthly payment in exchange for their roof space. So they are essentially renting out your roof space to make solar power more accessible. The solar developer retains ownership of the solar panels and is responsible for all maintenance and repairs. The solar developer will then either export all energy generated to the grid or sell some of it back to the property owner or tenants.

Key Benefits of Solar Roof Rental

There are a number of benefits associated with renting out your businesses roof space for solar panels to be installed. These include:

  • Fixed monthly income from leasing your roof
  • Cheaper energy when buying from solar developer
  • Increased property values
  • Less reliance on the unstable Eskom grid

Who Can Take Advantage of Solar Roof Rental?

The following types of businesses can earn an income through solar roof rental. Please note this is offered to businesses only.

Commercial property owners: the best type of property for solar roof leasing is any commercial building with lots of empty roof space. Examples of this include office buildings, office parks, shopping malls or parking lots.

Businesses with a large industrial building: factories and warehouses can also be very suitable buildings for solar roof rental because they are expansive and offer developers thousands of square metres of roof space for solar panel installations. In fact, they offer a massive untapped opportunity to generate massive amounts of energy and earn you a handsome monthly income in exchange for your roof space.

Schools: Schools also often have large buildings with largely unoccupied roofs, creating a great opportunity to earn an income through solar leasing.

– Body Corporates: Large body corporates or developments can also offer roof space for rent to generate the developers an additional stream of revenue.

Types of Roofs That Can Be Used For Solar Installations

You may be wondering if your building’s roof is suitable for solar leasing or if your building faces the correct direction to generate enough power.

There are three types of roofs that are especially good for solar installations, however, most solar developers can install solar panels on virtually any kind of roof material:

  1. Shingled roofs: These roofs are good for solar installations because the shingles create a lot of surface area for the solar panels to attach to. In addition, the angle of the roof can be adjusted to face the sun.
  2. Flat roofs: These roofs are good for solar installations because they have a large surface area that can be covered with solar panels. In addition, they are easy to install solar panels on and are ideal for areas that do not have a lot of sun exposure. An example of this is the flat roofs sometimes seen on warehouses or on carports.
  3. Metal roofs: These roofs are good for solar installations because the metal reflects the sun’s rays and helps to increase the amount of energy that the solar panels generate.

How Much Will I Earn From Solar Roof Rental?

This very much depends on the size of the building and subsequent project but you could expect anything from R100 000 to well over R1 million per year in additional revenue.

Will I Pay Less for Power?

Yes! Your monthly bill will decrease because you are relying less on the Eskom grid. And when you purchase power from the developer, you are guaranteed to pay cheaper tariffs than those offered by Eskom.

What happens to the Solar Panels after the Rental Period?

If you decide to return the solar panels at the end of your rental period, generally in the range of 20 years, we will uninstall them and recycle them.

If you are a commercial or industrial property owner with unused roof space, enquire about a solar roof rental agreement today.