Eskom to cut solar heater discount
Cape Town - Eskom plans to reduce the rebate for solar water-heaters before the end of April.
From a letter to solar hot-water cylinder suppliers participating in Eskom’s subsidy programme, Eskom apparently plans to reduce the rebate from April 29.
Only those solar geysers installed before April 29, and for which completed claim forms have been received by May 13, will qualify for the old rebate.
The cut in the rebate for high-pressure solar geysers – the type that is usually sold to middle to high-income households – could be from 10% to 25%.
An imported 10-litre to 149-litre solar geyser currently receives a maximum rebate of R4 373, but after April 29 this will be only R3 280.
This includes VAT and is about 25% less.
The discount on a solar geyser that has 80% of its content manufactured locally, and which has a capacity of 250 to 300 litres, will drop from a maximum of R9 960 to R8 964, or be 10% down.
In the letter Andrew Etzinger, general manager of integrated demand-side management at Eskom, said the discount programme would end as soon as all the money budgeted for it this year had been exhausted.
According to Etzinger, 64 000 solar geysers have been installed so far through Eskom’s subsidised programme.
This week Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said in his budget address that the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) was a co-funder of a project to install solar geysers for low-cost housing and had to date installed 38 000 units.
The project plans to install another 80 000 units next year.
In 2009 the Energy Minister set a target of installing one million solar geysers in South Africa by 2014.
Ompi Aphane, Energy Deputy Director-General, previously told parliament that the solar water-heater programme was very important for the country because it cost far more to generate one kilowatt hour of electricity at the Kusile coal-fired power station than it did to save one kilowatt hour of electricity by means of a solar water-heater.
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