Living off the grid is an ideal for many South Africans, especially in light of the recent increases in electricity and water tariffs, the scarcity of water and the latest threats of load-shedding. Homes featuring energy-saving alternatives and greener living solutions are more in demand than ever before and are selling at premium prices.
This trend is particularly noticeable in the Cape Peninsula. The coastal suburb of Noordhoek is known for its free-spirited and nature-loving residents, but there is also a growing crowd of well-off individuals who have a more holistic view of life that includes living well, living greener, and living off the grid.
This may be why the area has become popular with buyers from Gauteng, who are choosing the Peninsula’s lifestyle over that of the ‘burbs’.
“Over the past couple of years, there has been a definite increase in the interest and demand for self-sustainable properties. This ranges from homes that are completely off the grid to those that are partially self-sufficient,” says Maryanne Coates of Jawitz Properties Noordhoek. “We recently sold a beautiful 6-bedroom home in Noordhoek for close to R10-million that offered buyers several off the grid options, such as a backup generator, borehole and hi-tech water purification system that supplied water to the entire property.”
According to the seller of this property, the hi-tech water purification system circulated the borehole water through an ozone generator and then passed the water through a series of filtration media to two storage tanks, one for irrigation and one for home use.
Another luxury home in Noordhoek that has an independent solar energy and water supply system is currently on the market at R13.45-million.
This five bedroom, four bathroom contemporary home has two garages, a study, a swimming pool, and is completely off the grid.
It features state-of-the-art solar technology with a hybrid inverter that supplies electrical power first from solar energy, then the battery bank and only uses the grid if absolutely necessary. Whereas the independent water system consists of a borehole supply and reservoir, a rainwater supply along with a reservoir as well as a pressurised water filtration and purification system.
“Homeowners that purchase fully or partially off the grid homes not only make a positive impact on the environment but they also provide themselves with a consistent and reliable source of services. In addition, they save themselves the high monthly costs associated with paying for these services, invest in the future of their homes and save themselves from increasing tariffs in the future. They’re also likely to get a higher price if they sell. It’s a win-win solution that makes environmental sense, but also great property sense,” said Coates.