There is a simple problem. Both Eskom, and municipalities as resellers of electricity, derive income from the sale of kWh’s. Reduce the sale of kWh’s and their income goes down, but they still have the costs of maintenance and new builds to pay off, ignoring their normal other overheads of coal and personnel.
Like SESSA, Google is also getting behind the push for home and building-scale consumer renewable energy generation with the recent launch of an initiative which assists American consumers to assess the rooftop solar potential of their homes, a clear sign that rooftop renewables can now be considered mainstream. Google Sunroof allows one to drill down to a particular building or house and factors in local solar irradiation data and rooftop orientation in order to arrive at a projected generation potential.
Are you considering energy efficiency because of a rebate or subsidy or because you are looking to save energy and money?
The solar water heating rebates introduced in 2008 ended in April 2015 and whether they will return is a matter of debate within both the industry and among consumers. SESSA doesn’t know whether the rebate programme will be reinstated and if so, what form it will take and communication from the Department of Energy has been obscure.
However, the landscape has changed markedly over the last 7 years with the steep increase in electricity tariffs. Projected savings through solar water heating show that over the next 5 years and assuming a modest annual tariff increase of 8.5%, one will achieve, in Rand terms, as big a saving or indeed even more as you would have if you had invested in a solar water heating system at any time during which the rebate was available. SESSA Solar Water Heating Chair, James Green, takes us through the numbers.