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Standard Bank’s LookSee first to launch government backed Solar Loan for Homes

27 September 2023 Standard Bank
Marc du Plessis

Marc du Plessis

Home efficiency platform, LookSee.co.za powered by Standard Bank, has added a new finance option to its solar journey that will be a game changer for households looking to take advantage of the cost-saving and lifestyle benefits of solar power.

The newly launched Solar Loan offers low interest rates and flexible repayment terms, enabling more families to afford a reliable solar system, says LookSee executive head, Marc du Plessis.

The Solar Loan features personalised interest rates capped at a maximum of Prime plus 2.5% on loans ranging from R3 000 to R300 000. Customers can also choose a repayment term between 1 and 5 years to suit their monthly budget.

“The interest rate is the standout feature as it is much lower than what has been available in the industry to date. We shouldn’t overlook the value range, however, as this is large enough to cover a full solar system with installation costs, but also allows for smaller loans for families looking to add solar panels to their existing installation. And, of course, our customers have the assurance that they won’t be penalised for paying off their loans earlier,” points out du Plessis.

The introduction of the Solar Loan has been welcomed by solar installers, says Pierre Pretorius, a member of the Association for Renewable Energy Practitioners.

“With the high demand for solar solutions, we’ve seen a rush of unqualified and inexperienced installers entering the market with offerings of cheap, often unsafe, equipment. This has resulted in many reports of failed or inadequate solar installations and even scams. We believe the Solar Loan will help households to avoid these problems by making a quality solar installation more affordable,” he explains.

LookSee’s focus on providing trustworthy solar solutions that its customers can depend on for years to come is already making a difference in the lives of its customers.

Leander Holyoake explains: “We were happy with the installers. When they came to inspect the house, they explained everything to us, took note of what we wanted and needed, and they took that into account. They kept us informed and they were on schedule. The service is great, even the after service is great.”

The customer care team was also on hand to help them through the process, says Holyoake, explaining the process, assisting with finance applications, scheduling site visits, organising all the paperwork and always keeping them up to date.

“We’re saving a lot of money. Using the app, I can see the savings on electricity. We don’t know if loadshedding’s happened or not because we don’t experience it anymore. We’re always on,” he says.

While relief from loadshedding and power outages is one of the great advantages of a solar installation for a family, the cost savings should not be underestimated says du Plessis.

“A good quality solar system will have a significant impact on your electricity bill and these savings can help you pay off your Solar Loan. And once the loan is paid off, you’ll see your monthly expenses dropping dramatically as you’ll no longer be completely reliant on the grid,” he explains.

Earlier this year, the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) acknowledged that solar prices were returning to pre-Covid levels, thus making the option more affordable for consumers.

The LookSee Solar Loan is provided by Standard Bank and forms part of government’s Energy Bounce Back Loan Guarantee Scheme (EBB). Customers do not need to have a Standard Bank account to qualify; however, it should be noted that individuals may only have 1 EBB-based loan. Government has stated that the EBB loan will run until 30 August 2024.

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