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Cash-strapped consumers turn off heaters

Jun 02 2011 11:40 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Fewer South Africans heated up their homes last year compared to 2009, probably because of a spike in electricity prices, the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said on Thursday.

Researcher Catherine Schulze said the number of households using electricity for heating dropped from 50.7% in 2009 to 45.6% in 2010, according to the SA Development Index for 2011.

Schulze said this was probably because of an increase in electricity prices. South Africans would rather use their electricity for lighting and cooking.

"So, heating... apparently there's no money for it which is why it's so low," said Schulze.

SAIRR research manager Lucy Holborn said another factor was a rise in the number of households.

"Demand for services is exceeding supply," said Holborn.

The SAIRR released the second update for 2011 of the SA Development Index. South Africans were hit by a 31% hike in electricity prices in 2009/2010 and a further 24.8% increase for 2010/2011.

 
sairr  |  electricity
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